Russia Confirms Space Weapon Test Brushes Of USA Concerns
The Russians have confirmed that they have tested a space weapon and brushed off U.S. concerns of endangering astronauts at the International Space Station as “hypocritical.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry announced that it successfully conducted a test on Nov. 15, hitting the non-operating Russian spacecraft ‘Tselina-D,’ which had been in orbit since 1982. The destroyed target is believed to have been a Soviet signals intelligence satellite that has been defunct for several decades, according to space industry analysis company Seradata.
Earlier the Russians had dismissed U.S. accusations that it tested an anti-satellite weapon in outer space as “propaganda.”
Monday’s test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile marks the fourth-ever instance in which a spacecraft was hit from the ground. As per the Americans the ISS crew was forced to take shelter in their return ships after the missile test put more than 1,500 pieces of debris into Earth’s orbit.
NASA and the U.S. State Department have decried the test as “dangerous and irresponsible” space missile strike, though the Russian military has brushed it off with accusations that Washington is testing its own space weapons.
“[The U.S. Defense Department] is actively developing and testing, without any notification, various types of advanced strike and combat weapons in orbit,” said the Russian Defense Ministry as saying.
“The American side’s actions are viewed as a threat incompatible with its stated goals of the peaceful use of outer space,” it said, and added that Russia is working on “eliminating the likelihood of sudden damage to the country’s defense capability in space and on earth.
The Russian military also denied that the space debris threatened the four American, one German and two Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS.
“The U.S. knows for certain that the fragments formed during the tests did not and will not pose a threat to orbital stations, spacecraft and space activities,” the Defense Ministry said.
The Americans who have been the first to form a separate SPACE FORCE ….certainly not for space tourism. Now probably behind in the race, their Foreign Minister Anthony Blinken says that “The Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites.” He added that the “dangerous and irresponsible test” had generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and will likely create hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris.
The crew aboard the orbital outpost — currently four Americans, a German and two Russians — were awakened and first asked to close the station’s hatches, then take shelter in their return ships, the standard “safe haven” alarm procedure in the event of an emergency that might force evacuation.
They made their way to the Dragon and Soyuz spacecraft at 2:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and remained there for about two hours, NASA said. The ISS continues to pass near or through the cloud every 90 minutes.
In his strongly worded remarks, Blinken said the danger was far from over, and the debris would continue to threaten satellites and activities on the ISS. The United States was discussing its response with partners, he added. NASA administrator Bill Nelson added in a statement he was “outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action.”
“With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts” as well as Chinese “taikonauts” aboard China’s space station, he said.
USA had jumped around similarly when India had carried out a similar kind of test. The Yanks and the Chinks could not digest this fact and had accused India in 2019 of creating thousands of peaches of space debris. It was all false NASA propaganda. In fact it was the USA which had shot down a satellite in 2008 in response to China demonstrating a similar knockout in 2007.
Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astrophysicist, told AFP: “The feeling among people in the space industry is that we have way too much debris up there already — to deliberately generate more is just inexcusable.”
The first objects from the debris cloud should start to enter the atmosphere within a few months, but it could be up to 10 years before it clears up entirely, he said.
That could jeopardize what is an increasingly crowded region of space known as “low Earth orbit.”
There are currently more than 4,500 satellites whizzing around the planet, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, with companies like SpaceX planning to launch up to tens of thousands more, as the private space industry experiences rapid growth.
Russia is increasingly flexing its muscles in space as it seeks to reassert global influence under the leadership of Vladimir Putin. Last year, London and Washington accused Moscow of testing a “nesting doll” satellite that opened up and released a smaller craft to stalk an American satellite.
China meanwhile is developing a weapon known as Shijian-17, with a robot arm capable of grappling space vessels.
“Both China and Russia are increasingly building space into their military capabilities,” Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said at a space seminar in Washington last week.
Well India too is way ahead and fully capable of defending its interest in Space.