Friday, February 22, 2008

UPDATE: Star Wars BS - FEMA to the Rescue!

The good news is that we managed to blow that falling spy satellite into lots of little pieces. The bad news is that those little pieces are now falling down anyway.

FEMA to the rescue! With remarkable alacrity, FEMA has produced the "First Responder Guide for Space Object Re-Entry", the definitive document on what first responders should do if the sky falls. Literally.

Here's a summary of the more important points:

General Rules:
1. Space junk is really bad.
2. Don't pick it up.
3. Don't even get close to it.

1. Hydrazine is flammable, explosive, poisonous, and may react violently with water.
2. If there's a hydrazine fire use water to put it out.


1. Contact with Beryllium may cause severe injury or death.
2. Molten beryllium metal can burn you.


The Guide is so poorly written that I thought it was a joke at first, but it's for real. Don't you feel better knowing that Bush's brilliant FEMA appointees are on the case?

UPDATED UPDATE: FEMA has released a revised version of the "First Responder Guide for Space Object Re-Entry". It's better than the first version, and has a lot more info on hydrazine, but the entire section on beryllium is gone. Maybe beryllium isn't poisonous anymore...

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