Pentagon requires cease to anti-satellite weapons testing

A software program rendering exhibits a recreation of Russia’s anti-satellite weapons check and the destruction of satellite tv for pc Kosmos 1408, with the particles discipline in pink.


The Pentagon known as for a worldwide halt to anti-satellite weapons testing on Wednesday, additional decrying the follow after Russia’s damaging demonstration final month showered low Earth orbit with particles.

“We wish to see all nations conform to chorus from anti-satellite weapons testing that creates particles,” U.S. Division of Protection deputy secretary Kathleen Hicks mentioned at a gathering of the Nationwide Area Council.

The Russian army destroyed a defunct satellite tv for pc with an anti-satellite weapon (or ASAT) on Nov. 15, which U.S. Area Command mentioned created greater than 1,500 items of particles and despatched astronauts on the Worldwide Area Station into shelter because it handed by and close to the shrapnel discipline.

The view from SpaceX’s Crew Dragon spacecraft Endeavour of the Worldwide Area Station, in addition to the corporate’s Crew Dragon spacecraft Resilience, because the capsule approached to dock on April 24, 2021.


The check drew widespread condemnation from U.S. officers, which Russian officers responded by calling “hypocritical” given previous American army exams in area. Thus far, 4 international locations – the U.S., Russia, China, and India – have beforehand destroyed their very own satellites in ASAT exams.

However Hicks’ feedback mark essentially the most direct name to motion because the Russian demonstration.

“Such a show of deliberate disregard for security, safety and sustainability in area is one to be condemned and underscores the urgency of performing in protection of growing shared norms and having long-term sustainability of outer area,” Hicks mentioned.

She spoke throughout a panel of the primary Nationwide Area Council of President Joe Biden’s administration, which Vice President Kamala Harris is chairing. Like Hicks, Harris known as out the ASAT check as “irresponsible.”

“By blasting particles … [Russia] endangered the satellites of different nations, in addition to astronauts on the Worldwide Area Station,” Harris mentioned, including later that the check created “a second for us to essentially see very clearly what can occur and what doubtlessly may be averted with norms and guidelines” in area.

State Division deputy secretary Wendy Sherman added throughout Wednesday’s council assembly that the United Nations is making a course of to determine “nationwide safety area norms of conduct.”

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