GENEVA, Feb 15 (AFP) Feb 15, 2008
An out-of-commission US spy satellite will enter the Earth's atmosphere on or around March 6 if Washington fails with its plans to shoot it down, a top US diplomat said on Friday.
"If the engagement fails, the satellite is expected to make an uncontrolled re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere on or about 6 March 2008 in any region on the Earth's surface between 58.5 degrees North and 58.5 degrees South latitudes," said Christina Rocca, US ambassador to the Geneva-based Conference on Disarmament (CD).
"Whether the engagement succeeds or fails, the United States is prepared to offer assistance to governments to mitigate the consequences of any satellite debris impacts on their territory", she added.
"This extraordinary engagement ... is not part of an anti-satellite development and testing programme."
US President George W. Bush has ordered a US warship to shoot down the bus-sized satellite, which contains an estimated 1,000 pounds of toxic propellant, before it crashes to earth, US officials said Thursday.
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