Did you know the United States has the ability to locate, discriminate, track, and assess something as small as a baseball (or tiny missile) from 3,000 miles away?
This technology exists in the movies, but I didn’t know if it really did and what it would look like. Now I do. A big white ball.
Last week, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Sea-Based X-Band Radar traveled through Seattle’s Elliot Bay to Harbor Island where it’ll spend three months receiving maintenance and upgrades from Boeing who won the $27 million contract.
Usually it’s stationed off the coast of Adak, Alaska, one of the Aleutian Islands, a prime spot for monitoring our neighbors across the Pacific, North Korea, China and Russia.
We went to Harbor Island on Sunday to check it out.
A security officer raced up in his truck before we were even all out of the car. I figured we weren’t allowed so near, that we’d be sent away. It was the opposite actually. He was pleased we’d brought kids to see it.
The 85 foot tall white ball contains the radar system, which sits atop a floating oil drilling platform. The security officer pointed out the orange life boats, which, in an emergency, would lower workers twenty eight stories down to the sea. Yikes. Especially scary if the seas were rough.
Here’s the radar ball from West Seattle, along with a bit of shore art.
Check it out if you’re in Seattle the next couple of months to satisfy the James Bond in you. Just stay at least 100 yards away, by land or water because, you’re being watched very closely.
Receive new posts by email!
- Help me make decisions about my book
- The Innkeeper is open!
- Then and now
- Finding my way
- Across the cafe table: at the beach
- My 7 links
- Salmonberry pancakes
- At the sea under the moon
- Lunar eclipse
- Carrying water
- Edison, Washington: the perfect tiny town
- This moment part 2
- Golden Glen Creamery
- This moment
- Big white ball
Facebook Like Box
Tagsadventure alternative energy aviation bathrooms beach Black Bottle blogging book Brian Durbin camping caribbean Caribbean food coffee connecting cooking cooking schools costa rica diana mccaulay dinghy experiential travel flying food Grantourismo hawaii HomeAway Holiday Rentals island japan Japanese food kauai kids Nicaragua off the grid Petit Byahaut photography restaurants road trip san juan islands Seattle seattle restaurants St. Vincent & the Grenadines sustainable travel travel travel memoirs Washington State writing
- Still a few seats left for tonight's Coyote Central Guest Chef Tuesday: BLACK BOTTLE http://t.co/tHZaYuwg Come support youth in the kitchen! 2012-10-09
- @racheljmac Thanks for the follow! I SO want to go to Zanzibar. And Ethiopia. Looking forward to following your stories. :) 2012-10-09
- @jonclinch Congrats on deciding to self-publish The Thief of Auschwitz. And thank you for leading the way! 2012-10-09
- Books, authors, Seattle! RT @RonCharles Amazon isn't the whole story: Feeling bookish in #Seattle http://t.co/Yt6kyXsQ 2012-10-09
- Just followed. RT @gatespoverty A 13 Year Old Mother in Tanzania Shares Her Story on Pinterest: http://t.co/8PyIbICP #DayoftheGirl 2012-10-09
- More updates...