The United States announced Monday that it is investigating an incident related to space debris that caused a problem on the International Space Station and astronauts were temporarily forced to evacuate it and board evacuation spacecraft that may have been caused by a Russian Anti-Satellite missile.
“The U.S. Space Command is aware of an incident that is creating debris in space. We are actively working to define the field of debris and will continue to ensure that all nations have the necessary information to move satellites to avoid impact. We are also in the process of working with the State Department and NASA on these reports and will update in the near future,” the US agency said.
US Space Command also noted that Russia tested a direct-ascent anti-satellite, or DA-ASAT missile, striking a Russian satellite and creating a debris field in low-Earth orbit of more than 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris that is also likely to generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris.
“Russia has demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the security, safety, stability, and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations,” said US Space Command commander Gen. James Dickinson about the Russian Anti-Satellite missile
“The debris created by Russia’s DA-ASAT will continue to pose a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions at risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers. Space activities underpin our way of life and this kind of behavior is simply irresponsible.”
Russian Ministry of Defense said in a report that it had successfully conducted a Russian Anti-Satellite missile test targeting a now-defunct Russian satellite that had been in orbit since 1982.
“The U.S. knows for certain that the resulting fragments, in terms of test time and orbital parameters, did not and will not pose a threat to orbital stations, spacecraft and space activities,” Russia’s defense ministry said.
Sergei Lavrov Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation also said that the United States was guilty of “hypocrisy” with its claim that Russia had posed a risk to peaceful activities in outer space after the anti-satellite missile test.
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