A Paradigm Shift?

It looks like we’re going to get to see how a real world missile defense system performs under hostile fire.

Iron Dome to Become Operational

Following the recent escalation on the Gaza strip border, the IDF will deploy for the first time the Iron Dome missile defense system in strategic locations in the south of Israel as soon as Sunday, in order to shot down rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli civilians.

The Iron Dome is a one of a kind portable anti missile system, designed to protect an area stretching over 10 square kilometers from short-range rockets and mortar shells. The system can calculate whether the rockets fired are a threat to civilian population or strategic sites based on their trajectory, thus intercepting only the ones which pose a threat and not handling the ones which will land in open areas.

The Israeli Defense Forces hope the system will perform as expected and intercept all incoming rockets. If it does do so, the IDF will mark another unprecedented historical achievement, which could mean a “game changer” in the Middle East.

See also:
Israel to deploy ‘Iron Dome’ anti-rocket system
Iron Dome Defense To Start Working Sunday in Southern Israel
Iron Dome heads south
Israel deploys air defense system ‘Iron Dome’ near Gaza
Israel to deploy Iron Dome anti-missile system across southern territories
Iron Dome to be deployed in South soon, IDF says
IDF Considers Deploying Iron Dome as of Sunday
What about the Iron Dome?
Vilnai: Israel has strategic reason not to use Iron Dome
Iron Dome

if Iron Dome works, what will the frustrated Hamas terrorists do, or the Hezbollah terrorists for that matter, with their vast Iranian supplied arsenal rendered useless?

/if I were a South Korean, living in Seoul, I’d be paying close attention

32nd Time’s A Charm?

So far, so good, Atlantis is less than twelve days, reentry, and a touchdown away from a well deserved retirement after two and a half decades of service.

Shuttle Atlantis streaks into orbit on final planned flight

The shuttle Atlantis blasted off on its 32nd and final planned mission Friday, closing out 25 years of service with a 12-day flight to deliver a Russian docking module and critical spare parts to the International Space Station.

With its three hydrogen-fueled main engines roaring at full thrust, the shuttle’s twin solid-fuel boosters ignited on time at 2:20 p.m. EDT, instantly pushing the fully fueled 4.5-million-pound spacecraft away from pad 39A.

Accelerating through 100 mph–straight up–in just eight seconds, Atlantis wheeled about its long axis and lined up on a trajectory paralleling the East Coast. Liftoff was timed for roughly the moment Earth’s rotation carried the launch pad into the plane of the space station’s orbit, the first step in a two-day rendezvous procedure.

Atlantis quickly arced away to the northeast, putting on a spectacular afternoon sky show for area residents and tourists who gathered along Florida’s “Space Coast” to witness the shuttle’s final planned flight.

Commander Kenneth Ham, pilot Dominic Antonelli, and flight engineer Michael Good monitored the shuttle’s computer-controlled ascent, joined by Stephen Bowen, a former submariner, Piers Sellers, and Garrett Reisman, who spent three months aboard the space station in 2008.

“We’re going to take her on her 32nd flight and if you don’t mind, we’ll take her out of the barn and make a few more laps around the planet,” Ham radioed launch director Mike Leinbach a few minutes before takeoff.

The shuttle’s ascent appeared normal with no obvious impacts from external tank foam insulation. Video from a camera mounted on the side of the tank showed a few bits of insulation separating and falling away, but by that point the shuttle was out of the dense lower atmosphere where debris impacts pose a more significant threat.

See also:
Space shuttle Atlantis soars on final voyage
Space Shuttle Atlantis Blasts Off on Final Mission
Shuttle Atlantis Lifts Off for Final Planned Flight
Shuttle Atlantis launches on its last mission
Space shuttle Atlantis soars on final voyage
Space Shuttle Atlantis: A View from the Launch
View of Atlantis launch from over 22,000 miles up
No rookies allowed on Atlantis’ last flight‎
Space Shuttle Atlantis: 25 years of service
STS-132 Begins On-Orbit Operations
STS-132 Mission Information
STS-132
Atlantis
Atlantis (OV-104)
Space Shuttle Atlantis

Godspeed Atlantis, perform your last mission flawlessly and bring your crew home safely.

/and then there will be only two shuttle flights remaining before the United States manned spaceflight program is grounded indefinitely on Obama’s orders