Dr. Brian Chow is an independent policy analyst. His recent publications in space appear in Strategic Studies Quarterly, SpaceNews, Defense One, Defense News, and Space Review. You can follow him on Twitter at @briangchow.
Image: PACIFIC OCEAN (Feb 20, 2008) At a single modified tactical Standard Missile-3 (SM-3) launches from the U.S. Navy AEGIS cruiser USS Lake Erie (CG 70), successfully impacting a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite approximately 247 kilometers (133 nautical miles) over the Pacific Ocean, as it traveled in space at more than 17,000 mph. President George W. Bush decided to bring down the satellite because of the likelihood that the satellite could release hydrazine fuel upon impact, possibly in populated areas. U.S. Navy photo