- The Russian military on Monday destroyed a defunct satellite, forcing astronauts to take refuge on the International Space Station as a cloud of debris passed.
- US officials from the Pentagon, State Department and NASA denounced Russia’s anti-satellite weapon (or ASAT) test as “reckless” and “dangerous”, while US Space Command confirmed that the test uncovered more than 1,500 debris. Make pieces.
- But the Russian military called the response “hypocritical,” saying in a statement translated by NBC that “the United States knows with certainty that the resulting fragments from the ASAT test” include “orbital stations, spacecraft, and space activities.”
The Russian military on Monday destroyed a dormant satellite, causing shrapnel in low-Earth orbit and forcing astronauts to seek refuge on the International Space Station as a cloud of debris passed.
US officials from the Pentagon, State Department and NASA described Russia’s Anti-Satellite Weapon (or ASAT) test as “reckless” and “dangerous”, while US Space Command confirmed that the test produced more than 1,500 debris. The test destroyed the inactive, Soviet-era Kosmos 1408 spy satellite.
“Russia has demonstrated a willful disregard for the safety, security, stability and long-term stability of the space domain for all nations,” US Space Command commander James Dickinson said in a statement.
But the Russian military called the US response “hypocritical”, saying in a statement translated by NBC that “the United States knows with certainty that the resulting fragments from the ASAT test” will not pose a threat to orbital stations, spacecraft, nor will do. and space activities.”
Both the US and Russia, as well as India and China, have previously destroyed their own satellites in ASAT tests. The US recently conducted an ASAT test in 2008, while Russia on Tuesday showed the Air Force’s test of the X-37 spacecraft “actively developing” space weapons to the Pentagon.
Industry experts believe the debris field created by Russia’s latest ASAT test will remain in orbit for years, posing a threat to other spacecraft. Earth imagery company Planet, which has more than 140 small satellites in low Earth orbit, stressed that Russia’s ASAT test makes it “the fourth country to fly its own satellite with a missile in the past 15 years.”
NASA confirmed that the International Space Station went into emergency procedures on Monday, closing the ISS hatch during the crew aboard. NASA said the ISS is “passing through or passing through” the debris field every 90 minutes.
“It is unimaginable that Russia would put not only American and international fellow astronauts on the ISS, but its own astronauts at risk,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.