[FPSPACE] Iranian sounding rocket
robot at esper.com
robot at esper.com
Mon Feb 26 13:10:26 EST 2007
Concur with Allen.
Years ago (Nov/Dec 1998), I had done a back o' the envelope
calculation per request of ABC News, as to whether the Iraqis under
Saddam could, with a Scud-B, lob half a tonne of sand with a small
bursting charge high enough to pose a threat to the nascent Space
Station. (Readers may recall this was in the context of the Clinton
impeachment trial and the missile strike on Saddam's intel assets
around Baghdad.) As I recall, I found that the sand bubble would top
out at 180-190 kilometers in a straight-up shot. Therefore no threat
to ISS. Not even to intel birds.
The minimum quantity (500 kg) of sand was driven by the minimum
dimensions of an expanding shell of sand dense enough to assure that
a few grains hit per cross-sectional square meter of target. At LEO
speeds, running into an individual, temporarily stationary, grain of
sand generates about half again (1.5X) the impact energy of a M-16
bullet. The cloud dimension in turn was driven by the available
timing precision of satellite orbits and of guidance technology.
Timing and guidance are where the big payoffs are - intuition
suggests that a 2X improvement in timing leads to a 4X-8X reduction
in required throwweight.
So with a 150 km apogee, it seems to me the Iranians are no more
capable today than the Iraqis were 9 years ago. I confess I'm
surprised at this modest result. This "space launch" was a PR stunt
for the easily misled. But who do they think their audience is? Are
they taking a page from the /National Lampoon/ ? (Famous cover: "But
This Magazine Or We'll Shoot This Dog!") Sometimes, the Iranians'
strategy seems to resemble the PeepReps' strategy. Does the emperor
Robert G Kennedy III, PE
---- Original Message ----
>Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 06:03:46 -0800 (PST)
>From: Allen Thomson <thomsona at flash.net>
>Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] Iranian sounding rocket
> I think it's just a Shahab-1 (Scud B). Maybe a Shahab-2. See
> Note that the reported 150 km altitude is what would be expected if
>a Shahab-1 with a standard ~1,000 kg payload were launched straight
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