ARGOS in Australia for USA-193 Satellite Re-entry Scenarios


February 2008


USA-193 was an American military spy satellite launched on December 14, 2006. The satellite’s precise function and purpose were classified. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports indicate that the satellite contained the hazardous materials hydrazine and beryllium. There was some speculation that the satellite might have a "nuclear" power core, i.e. a radioisotope thermoelectric generator.


The satellite malfunctioned shortly after deployment, and was intentionally destroyed 14 months later on February 21, 2008, by a modified, $9.5 million SM-3 missile fired from the warship USS Lake Erie, stationed west of Hawaii.

To prepare for the possible situation that the satellite was not destroyed and the hazardous material would be spread over Australia, ARPANSA in Australia used ARGOS to consider various scenarios.



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