(KHNL) -- Department of Defense officials say they are confident the missile intercept and destruction of a non-functioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite destroyed the hydrazine tank and reduced the risk of hazardous chemical to people.
"By all accounts this was a successful mission. From the debris analysis, we have a high degree of confidence the satellite's fuel tank was destroyed and the hydrazine has been dissipated," said Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
A single modified missile was fired from the USS Lake Erie last week.
The Joint Functional Component Command for Space Joint Space Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California is tracking about 3,000 pieces of debris, all smaller than a football.
Most of the debris will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere in the coming days and weeks.