Friday, May 26, 2023
HomeWorld NewsRussia rejects accusations of endangering astronauts aboard ISS with weapons test

Russia rejects accusations of endangering astronauts aboard ISS with weapons test


Russia rejects accusations of endangering astronauts aboard ISS with weapons test.

MOSCOW (AP) – Russian officials on Tuesday rejected allegations that they endangered astronauts aboard the International Space Station by conducting a weapons test that created more than 1,500 pieces of space junk, but a White House official said Russia’s move would threaten activities in space “… for years to come.”

US officials on Monday accused Russia of destroying an old satellite with a missile in what they called a reckless and irresponsible attack. They said the debris could damage the space station, an assessment endorsed by the NATO chief.

Astronauts now face four times the normal risk from space debris, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson told The Associated Press. The defunct Russian satellite Cosmos 1408 orbited about 40 miles (65 kilometers) higher than the space station.

The test clearly demonstrates that Russia, “despite its claims to oppose the militarization of outer space, is willing to … jeopardize the exploration and use of outer space by all nations through its behavior reckless and irresponsible, “said US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. said.

White House spokesman Andrew Bates said Tuesday that Russia’s action demonstrated its “utter disregard for the security, safety, stability and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations.

This debris will continue to pose a direct threat to activities in outer space for years to come and will put at risk the satellites on which all nations depend for national security, economic prosperity, and scientific discoveries.”

He said the United States would work with its allies “as we seek to respond to this irresponsible act.”

Even a paint stain can cause significant damage when orbiting at 17,500 mph (28,000 kph). Something big, after impact, could be catastrophic for the space station.

Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed on Tuesday the conduct of a test and the destruction of a missing satellite that has been in orbit since 1982.

But insisted that “the United States knows with certainty that the resulting fragments, in terms of test time and orbital parameters, they did not and will not pose a threat to orbital stations, spacecraft and space activities. “He called the statements of US officials” hypocritical.”

Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the attack was carried out “with surgical precision” and posed no threat to the space station. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also accused it of “hypocrisy” to say that Russia creates risks for peaceful activities in space.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos did not confirm or deny that the attack took place, saying only that “the unconditional safety of the crew has been and continues to be our top priority.”

Once the situation became clear Monday morning, those aboard the International Space Station, four Americans, one German and two Russians, were ordered to immediately seek refuge in their docked capsules.

They spent two hours in the two capsules, eventually emerging only to have to close and reopen the hatches to the station’s individual labs in each orbit, or an hour and a half, as they passed near or through space debris.

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg agreed that Russia’s actions put the space station in jeopardy.

“This was a reckless act by Russia to shoot down and destroy a satellite as part of a test of an anti-satellite weapons system,” which created a large amount of space debris, Stoltenberg told reporters in Brussels.

He said it was an additional concern “because it shows that Russia is now developing new weapons systems that can shoot down satellites, can destroy important space capabilities for basic infrastructures on Earth, such as communications, navigation, or early warning of launches missiles”

The German Foreign Ministry also said it was “very concerned” by the test, which it said resulted in “additional risks” for astronauts on the ISS.

“This irresponsible behavior carries a high risk of miscalculation and escalation,” the ministry said, adding that the test underscores the urgency of an international agreement on rules for the peaceful use of space.

NASA Mission Control said the biggest threat could continue to disrupt astronauts’ scientific research and other work. Four of the seven crew members only made it to the orbiting outpost on Thursday night.

A similar weapons test conducted by China in 2007 also resulted in countless pieces of debris. One of them threatened to get dangerously close to the space station last week. While the risk it posed was later discounted, NASA made the space station move anyway.

Anti-satellite missile tests conducted by the US in 2008 and India in 2019 were conducted at much lower altitudes, well below the space station, which orbits about 260 miles (420 kilometers) high.

Marcia Dunn in Cape Canaveral, Florida, Lorne Cook in Brussels, Geir Moulson in Berlin, and Darlene Superville in Washington DC contributed to this report.


Recent Stories

Suggested for you