Russia recognizes anti-satellite missile test

MOSCOW – The Russian military admitted on Tuesday that it carried out a test of an anti-satellite weapon that wiped out a target in orbi...

MOSCOW – The Russian military admitted on Tuesday that it carried out a test of an anti-satellite weapon that wiped out a target in orbit, sending a vast cloud of debris around Earth and forcing astronauts on the International Space Station to seek shelter.

The announcement follows a day of silence in Moscow over the sophisticated weapon test, coming amid already heightened military tensions between the United States and Russia.

Earlier on Tuesday, a member of the Russian parliament denied that no testing had taken place, although some of the fragments stood close enough to the International Space Station that the astronauts closed the hatches and took to the skies. ‘shelter.

The Russian weapon, identified in Russian reports as possibly an S-500 Prometey missile, detonated a Soviet signal intelligence satellite long launched in 1982 and in silent orbit for years.

The explosion created more than 1,500 pieces of traceable debris and is likely to eventually generate hundreds of thousands of small pieces, according to the US State Department, which strongly criticized the test for presenting dangers to satellites and crewed spaceships.

Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken, in a statement released Monday, sharply criticized the test as “recklessly driven”.

US Space Command has said the debris will likely remain in orbit for years, if not decades, adding to a vast array of space debris. A few days before the Russian test, the space station had to dodge the debris of a Chinese weapons test in 2007.

“The Russian Defense Ministry has passed a test,” the ministry said noted in a statement Tuesday, in the first official recognition of the country. “The result was the destruction of an inactive Russian spacecraft.”

The debris cloud, the statement said, poses no risk to the International Space Station, other crewed spacecraft or satellites.

Earlier on Tuesday, the deputy chairman of the defense committee of the Russian parliament, Yuri Shvytkin, denied that no tests had taken place. “The State Department’s fantasy knows no bounds,” Mr. Shvytkin noted, reported the Interfax news agency. “Russia is not militarizing space.”

There was no explanation for the conflicting statements or the indication that the two Russian cosmonauts on the International Space Station had received a prior warning.

With two Americans and a German astronaut on board, the Russians took refuge for about two hours on spacecraft docked at the station that could bring them back to earth if necessary.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson said he had “no reason to believe” that Russia’s manned space flight program knew about the military missile test. He noted that the debris cloud also endangered three astronauts now aboard the Chinese ship. Tiangong Space Station.

International fallout from the episode spread on Tuesday. In an article on Twitter, Florence Parly, French Minister of Defense, did not mention Russia by name but criticized the “vandals” for having polluted outer space.

“Space is a common good, that of the 7.7 billion inhabitants of our planet”, she declared. “Space vandals have an overwhelming responsibility in generating debris that pollutes and puts our astronauts and satellites at risk. “

Ms Parly said that the European Union was aware that space was a new “land of conflict”.

The management of space waste has been a looming problem for years. The Russian test added to an already large swarm of orbiting trash, including old satellites, rocket parts and debris from earlier anti-satellite weapons testing by China, India and the United States. United.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Russia recognizes anti-satellite missile test
Russia recognizes anti-satellite missile test
Newsrust - US Top News
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