Thursday, July 7

The United States accuses Russia of putting the ISS at risk with an “irresponsible” test with an anti-satellite missile


Updated

The seven astronauts currently at the station had to take cover for safety

The Station
The International Space Station.THIS
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USA critical is Monday a Russia for having carried out a missile test that blew up one of its own satellites, causing debris that it considered threatening to the astronauts of the International Space Station (ISS).

“Earlier today, Russia irresponsibly carried out a destructive direct-climb anti-satellite missile test against one of its own satellites,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price, calling Moscow’s behavior “dangerous and irresponsible. “.

According to him, this action has “generated more than 1,500 traceable orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces of orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations.”

Without going into whether Washington is examining retaliation measures, Price claimed that the United States “will make it clear that not tolerate this type of activity“.

This missile launch “clearly shows that Russia’s claims that it opposes the militarization of space are false and hypocritical,” he added.

Russia’s antisatlite weapon test (ASAT) represents a Moscow’s rare show of force, criticized by the space community for the risk they create for crews in low Earth orbit.

Spatial ties between both countries

The United States and Russia have maintained strong spatial ties since the end of the Cold War, despite mounting political tensions in recent years.

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Pentagon spokesman John Kirby has stated that “the immediate concern is the debris, which is now floating and could become a danger, even for the International Space Station. “

“We are taking a close look at the kind of media that Russia seems to want to develop, which could pose a threat not only to our national security interests, but also to the security incentives of other nations with space travel,” he said.

Earlier, the Pentagon’s United States Space Command had reported that a “debris-generating incident in outer space” was being investigated after ISS astronauts were forced to prepare for an event. possible evacuation of the installation.

“US Space Command is aware of a debris-generating incident in outer space. We are actively working to define the characteristics of the debris field and will continue to ensure that all space nations have the information they need to maneuver satellites in case of impact “, had indicated that federal agency.

Russia downplays the incident

NASA has not yet commented on the fact, but its Russian counterpart, Roscomos, downplay to the incident.

“The orbit of the object, which forced the crew today to move towards the spacecraft according to standard procedures, has moved away from the orbit of the ISS. The station is in the green zone,” said the Russian agency in its Twitter network account.

“Friends, everything is normal with us! We continue to work according to the space program,” said Anton Shkaplerov, current commander of the Moscow space outpost, in the same network.

Earlier during the incident, NASA astronauts Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, Kayla Barron and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer remained afloat on their SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft for safety, according to a latest report from Spaceflight now.

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At the same time, Russian cosmonauts Shkaplerov, Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei boarded a Soyuz spacecraft on the Russian segment, the outlet added.

Both spacecraft can be used as lifeboats to bring the crew to Earth in an emergency.

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