The US State Department says an anti-satellite weapon test has spread dangerous debris through space.
Russia was accused of conducting the test, which has since spread a dangerous cloud of hundreds of thousands of objects above the ground.
The accusation came just hours after members of the International Space Station crew – representing the US and Russian space agencies – were forced to shelter in place as a cloud of debris threatened the floating laboratory.
“This test will significantly increase the risks to astronauts and astronauts on the International Space Station, as well as to other human spaceflight activities,” a State Department spokesperson said.
“Russia’s dangerous and irresponsible behavior threatens the long-term sustainability of our space and clearly shows that Russia’s claims to oppose the weaponization of space are hypocritical.”
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Experts say destroyed satellite debris may remain in space for up to 10 years.
Harvard’s Jonathan McDowell took to Twitter to say that most of the debris could decompose within five years, but some could take up to a decade.
The US State Department confirms the test of a Russian anti-satellite missile. I condemned the 2007 Chinese test, the 2008 US test, and the 2019 Indian test, and this one too. Anti-satellite tests that generate debris are a bad idea and should never be done.”
Graeme MasseyNovember 15, 2021 21:01
How much damage can small objects in space do?
Experts have taken to Twitter to explain how dangerous small objects can be when flying through space at high speed.
Graeme MasseyNovember 15, 2021 20:45
British Ministry of Defense condemns Russian action
British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said: “This devastating anti-satellite missile test by Russia shows a complete disregard for the security, safety and sustainability of space.”
Graeme MasseyNovember 15, 2021 20:40
NASA’s Exploration Mission Planning Chief Condemns Russia
Nujoud Fahoum Merancy took to Twitter to explain the science – and dangers – of explosions in space.
“This is what the effects of hypervelocity look like (the ISS Module Shield test here at NASA JSC). Even small particles are no joke at these speeds.”
Graeme MasseyNovember 15, 2021 20:25
The United States accuses Russia of blowing up a satellite and endangering lives
Andrew GriffinNovember 15, 2021 20:17
Hello and welcome…
… to me independentLive coverage of the ongoing fallout from what appears to be a test of an anti-satellite weapon in space.
Andrew GriffinNovember 15, 2021 20:14