From Levine Breaking News:
MILITARY SAYS MISSILE HIT SPY SATELLITE:
A missile launched from a Navy ship struck a dying U.S. spy satellite passing 130 miles over the Pacific on Wednesday, the Pentagon said. It was not clear whether the operation succeeded in its main goal of destroying a tank aboard the satellite that carried a toxic fuel that U.S. officials said could pose a hazard to humans if it landed in a populated area.
"Confirmation that the fuel tank has been fragmented should be available within 24 hours," the Pentagon said in a written statement.
The USS Lake Erie, armed with an SM-3 missile designed to knock down incoming missiles -- not orbiting satellites -- launched the attack at 10:26 p.m. EST, according to the Pentagon. It hit the satellite as the spacecraft traveled at more than 17,000 mph.
Because the satellite was orbiting at a relatively low altitude at the time it was hit by the missile, debris will begin to re-enter the Earth's atmosphere immediately, the Pentagon statement said.
"Nearly all of the debris will burn up on re-entry within 24-48 hours and the remaining debris should re-enter within 40 days," it reported.