US condemns Russia for blowing up own satellite and creating space debris

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The United States condemned Russia on Monday for destroying one of its own satellites, which created debris that U.S. Space Command says could endanger space crews for decades.

Following reports that Russia shot down a satellite over the weekend using a direct-ascent, anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile, the agency told Fox News in a statement that it is “aware of a debris-generating event in outer space.”

Seradata, which operates a launch and satellite database, reported that the downed satellite belonged to Russia and was targeted in an anti-satellite test. U.S. Space Command confirmed that the satellite in question was defunct and from the Soviet era.

U.S. Space Command’s initial assessment of the wreckage determined that the debris will remain in orbit for years and perhaps decades, potentially endangering crew on the International Space Station as well as satellites from other countries.

U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, U.S. Space Command commander, explained the situation further, saying Monday, “Russia has demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the security, safety, stability, and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations.

In this photo provided by Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service, the Nauka module is seen prior to docking with the International Space Station on Thursday, July 29, 2021. (Roscosmos Space Agency Press Service photo via AP)

“The debris created by Russia’s DA-ASAT will continue to pose a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions at risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers. Space activities underpin our way of life, and this kind of behavior is simply irresponsible,” Dickinson added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a meeting with hight level officers and heads of defense industry enterprises in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2021.
(Evgeniy Paulin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)


“Russia is developing and deploying capabilities to actively deny access to and use of space by the United States and its allies and partners,” Dickinson continued. “Russia’s tests of direct-ascent anti-satellite weapons clearly demonstrate that Russia continues to pursue counter space weapon systems that undermine strategic stability and pose a threat to all nations.”

Fox News’ Greg Norman and Lucas Tomlinson contributed to this report.

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