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Missiles fired from a U.S. Navy ship intercepted an airborne target in a successful ballistic-missile defense test off the coast of Hawaii (Aug. 29).

Is it possible that the mass media doesn't know if a missile interceptor failed to hit a target missile? So that failure is kept secret from public.

closed as off-topic by SoylentGray, Drunk Cynic, bytebuster, Machavity, Alexei Aug 31 '17 at 18:43

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    Possible, but I think answers to this would have to be speculation. – James K Aug 31 '17 at 6:22
  • Even if the media knew, it probably wouldn't sell copies, so they wouldn't print it. – Erik Aug 31 '17 at 7:14
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    @Erik Usually it is the other way around; the "We are all gonna die" message sells more media than "We are cool, everything is fine" message. – SJuan76 Aug 31 '17 at 7:31
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    I would suggest that a question as to whether something is being kept secret from the public is completely pointless. – PointlessSpike Aug 31 '17 at 7:45
  • It's possible that Thetans are secretly controlling every user of this site. I'm not sure I can prove that though. – user4012 Aug 31 '17 at 13:11
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Missile interception is not as yes/no as you might expect. If a rocket comes near enough to damage the target it may be counted as a hit without actually hitting anything. In combat it would explode and destroy its target, and during testing it may not have a warhead in it.

They were conducting tests. Tech people do a lot of that, and safety critical stuff gets tested a lot more, because it's safety critical. This involves seeing not just what works, but also what doesn't work. What were they testing? The accuracy of the flight path simulation? The sensitivity of the proximity sensors? The GPS in the rocket?

Also remember that rockets, warheads and airborne targets are not cheap. You don't destroy one unless you really have to.

If the rockets are experimental the designers and their customers may not want the press to report details of what they are doing, so competitors don't find out.

These days if the press starts going "useless rocket misses target" some uninformed government official might just cancel the program.

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    some uninformed government official might just cancel the program in a single tweet. - Really this answer was great until you threw that barb in there. – SoylentGray Aug 31 '17 at 15:53
  • @SoylentGray of course you are right, I have improved it. In my defence I might add it was a bad day for tweets. – RedSonja Sep 18 '17 at 7:16
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The difference between a test and an exorcise: In a test you hope something goes right, in an exorcise you hope nothing goes wrong. In this test some parts went very right.

Missing a missile is easy. Give me a billion dollars and I could have a prototype missile missing system ready to demonstrate by spring.

Hitting a bullet with a bullet is like 1/10th the speed at 1/1000th the distance. This is a cool feat of engineering, but like all engineering there is room for improvement.

  • In the military terms an exercise is practice for the real thing. An exercise is as tighly controlled as possible designed to build confidence in the systems, procedures, and skills of the soldiers. A test is an attempt to use a system in real world conditions with out the tight controls, an evaluation is just seeing how the system or soldier performs. It may be ok to fail a test, it is not ok to fail an evaluation. – SoylentGray Aug 31 '17 at 15:58

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