In first, Russian test strikes satellite using Earth-based missile

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  sister-mary-agnes-ample-bottom  •  3 weeks ago  •  5 comments

By:   Paul Sonne, Missy Ryan, Christian Davenport

In first, Russian test strikes satellite using Earth-based missile
"Earlier today, the Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive . . . test of a direct ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites,” Price said.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Russia conducted a strike against a Soviet-era satellite in space on Monday, creating more than 1,500 pieces of debris that U.S. officials said posed a reckless risk and showed Moscow’s insincerity when it says it doesn’t want to weaponize space.

The test marked the first time that Russia has demonstrated an ability to strike a satellite using a missile launched from Earth.

During a briefing, State Department spokesman Ned Price said the anti-satellite test had created more than 1,500 pieces of sizable debris that could damage other satellites or affect astronauts at the International Space Station.

“Earlier today, the Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive . . . test of a direct ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites,” Price said. “The test has so far generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations.”

Price said the test threatened astronauts on the space station and said it “clearly demonstrates that Russia’s claims of opposing the weaponization of space are disingenuous.”

The Russian Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment.

In an interview with The Washington Post, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson called the strike “outrageous” and “unconscionable.”

“It’s inexplicable that they would do this and threaten not only our astronauts after we’ve cooperated in space since 1975, but threaten their own cosmonauts,” he said.

He noted that NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who flew to the station as part of the Russian crew, evacuated the station with the Russian cosmonauts and sought shelter with them in the Russian Soyuz attached to the station.

Nelson said that the debris could do “serious damage” to the station and that he was “quite concerned” about the safety of the astronauts.

He said he would not be surprised if his counterpart at the Russian space agency, Dmitry Rogozin, didn’t “know a thing about this, and it’s the Russian military doing their thing.” There is currently a NASA delegation in Russia, and he said he believes that members of the Russian space agency “didn’t know anything about this. And they’re probably just as appalled as we are.”

The United States has accused Russia of testing space weapons before. In July 2020, U.S. Space Command said the country had conducted a “non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon,” accusing Moscow of injecting a “new object into orbit” from one of its known military satellites.

Brian Weeden, director of program planning at the Secure World Foundation, said Moscow has conducted other types of anti-satellite tests in the past that have involved one satellite attacking another.

In recent years, Russia has been doing close maneuvers with other satellites and at one point appeared to launch a projectile from one of its satellites, but those incidents didn’t involve a strike creating debris, he said.

The previous activity occurred within a Russian satellite system that U.S. officials had raised concerns about in the past, after it maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite in a move that Washington saw as evidence that Moscow was trying to advance its space weaponry.

“Historically Russia has been interested in developing anti-satellite weapons to be able to take out American space capabilities in the event of a conflict and also to be able to take out potential space-based missile defenses which could threaten the Russian nuclear deterrent,” Weeden said.

Rep. Mike D. Rogers (R-Ala.), who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, said the test showed why the U.S. Space Command and Space Force are needed.

“Space has already become a warfighting domain,” he said.

LeoLabs, a U.S. company that tracks space debris, confirmed on Twitter that it was seeing debris near the expected location of Cosmos 1408, which NASA describes as an abandoned electronic and signals intelligence satellite launched by the Soviet Union in 1982.

China conducted an anti-satellite weapons test using a projectile launched from Earth in 2007. The following year, the United States struck one of its own spy satellites that was malfunctioning and expected to crash to Earth. India conducted a kinetic anti-satellite test in 2019.

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. government was closely tracking Russian space capabilities.

“We’re concerned about any nation that would weaponize space,” he said. “We want to see the space domain subject to international norms and rules so that it can be explored by all space-faring nations in a responsible way, and this was an irresponsible act.”


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Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
1  seeder  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom    3 weeks ago

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. government was closely tracking Russian space capabilities.

“We’re concerned about any nation that would weaponize space,” he said. “We want to see the space domain subject to international norms and rules so that it can be explored by all space-faring nations in a responsible way, and this was an irresponsible act.”

 
 
 
Trout Giggles
Professor Principal
1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @1    3 weeks ago

If the Pentagon is so worried about weaponizing space, then why do we have a Space Command?

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     3 weeks ago

I believe that the Chinese did the same thing when it destroyed one of its own satellites with a earth based missile some years ago.

 
 
 
Sparty On
PhD Principal
3  Sparty On    3 weeks ago

Gonna need a space vacuum to clean up the trash created by kinetic weapons like this.   No one will win a satellite shooting war because it will turn space into a junkyard unsafe for any country to operate in.

We figured that out decades ago.    Non kinetic weapons are the ticket or kinetic weapons against land based command and control. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
Professor Expert
4  Tacos!    3 weeks ago

I feel like someone needs to take the car keys away from these lunatic countries. They manage their space objects like drunken cowboys (Just shoot it Pard!)

There are live astronauts up there (not to mention other people’s expensive satellites) and these maniacs are blowing shit up and creating potentially damaging and dangerous clouds of debris.

 
 
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