US condemns Russia’s anti-satellite missile test

The State Department has accused Russia of jeopardising the safety and security of space exploration following the launch of anti-satellite missiles.

On Monday (15 November), the Russian Federation reportedly conducted an anti-satellite weapons test against one of its own targets.

The tests are estimated to have generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris, potentially creating hundreds of thousands of smaller fragments.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has condemned the “destructive” tests, noting concern over the safety of astronauts and critical space infrastructure.

“The long-lived debris created by this dangerous and irresponsible test will now threaten satellites and other space objects that are vital to all nations’ security, economic, and scientific interests for decades to come,” he said.

“In addition, it will significantly increase the risk to astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station and other human spaceflight activities.

“The safety and security of all those seeking to explore and use outer space for peaceful purposes has been carelessly endangered by this test.”

The secretary of state accused Russia of undermining its own opposition to the militarisation of space.

“The events of November 15, 2021, clearly demonstrate that Russia, despite its claims of opposing the weaponisation of outer space, is willing to jeopardise the long-term sustainability of outer space and imperil the exploration and use of outer space by all nations through its reckless and irresponsible behaviour,” Secretary Blinken added.

He went on to urge the international community to support efforts to generate a common code of conduct in the space domain.

“The United States will work with our allies and partners as we seek to respond to this irresponsible act,” Secretary Blinken said.

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