Some non-COVID content for a change. Blowing up defunct satellites sounds like fun, Russian style! MH
The Moscow Times – Nov 16, 2021
The Russian military confirmed Tuesday that it tested a space weapon and brushed off U.S. concerns of endangering astronauts at the International Space Station as “hypocritical.”
Russia’s Defense Ministry said it “successfully conducted a test on Nov. 15, hitting the non-operating Russian spacecraft ‘Tselina-D,’ which had been in orbit since 1982,” the state-run TASS news agency reported.
Russia has previously dismissed U.S. accusations that it tested an anti-satellite weapon in outer space as “propaganda.”
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.
Monday’s test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile marks the fourth-ever instance in which a spacecraft was hit from the ground.
The ISS crew was forced to take shelter in their return ships Monday after the missile test put more than 1,500 pieces of debris into Earth’s orbit.
After NASA and the U.S. State Department decried its “dangerous and irresponsible” space missile strike, the Russian military hit back 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,” RIA Novosti quoted 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, according to RIA Novosti.
Did Russia blow up their own satellite and create debris cloud?
The US has accused the Russians of testing anti-satellite missiles as the ISS crew scramble for protection in their lifeboats.
The US has warned of a “debris-generating event” in space, amid accusations that the Russians launched an anti-satellite missile into orbit. A satellite in the orbit of the International Space Station (ISS) broke up, leading the seven-person crew to take protective measures as the swathe of debris buffered the station.
This would not be the first time that Russia has launched such a test. In 2020, the US Space Command (USSC) reported three ASAT tests from Russia. These tests see anti-satellite missiles directed towards small satellites in low-Earth orbit.
When the satellites are hit, it can create a field of debris that could “irrevocably pollute the space domain,” USSC said in a statement following Russia’s third ASAT test in 2020. This is the danger the ISS faced on Monday….READ MORE