… that classified items within the satellite would be designed with some soft of destruction mechanism either through remote (in this case lost) or physical means. Wouldn’t it make sense to design it such that particular impacts, like falling from space, would free a release mechanism to crush circuitry or data? Or even design it to burn.
I don’t see there being that much risk of debris considering the Soviets were able to bring Mir crashing to Earth in a beautiful fireball. True, they still had control of the thing (sort of) whereas this satellite is doing its own thing. But the bulk of it ought to just burn off in the atmosphere.
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