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Sunday, November 28, 2021

Astronauts take cover after Russia successfully tests Anti-Satellite Missile

According to US, Russia tested an Anti-Satellite Missile that blasted through Earth’s orbit and forced astronauts aboard the International Space Station to briefly take shelter as it obliterated a dead satellite and generated a cloud of litter in outer space. 

The US called it to be “Dangerous and irresponsible”. However Russia says that it did not put any spacecraft or astronauts in danger.

Hundreds of thousands of pieces scattered into space, by the test of the anti-satellite weapon, or ASAT, early Monday on 15 November, 2021. Some 1,500 hundred of them big enough to track, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said during a news briefing on Monday.

Price Said that, “the Russian Federation carelessly conducted a destructive test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites”.

“This test is going to significantly increase risk and danger to astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station, as well as to other human spaceflight activities,” said Price.

Objects in space tear through the cosmos at up to 17,500 miles per hour, which means that even the smallest piece of debris poses a danger to the space station and satellites that are essential to the global economy, military and modern way of life. As thousands of pieces of the satellite started to spread, the American, German and Russian astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) were ordered to pull on their space suits and take shelter in preparation for a possible results.

ASAT’s (which are designed to knock out enemy satellites) test isn’t the first time its been developed and tested. China tested a weapon similar to this, with similar results in 2007. The US and India have tested such weapons in space.

According to the report of Pentagon (2020) Beijing’s ground-based ASAT capabilities as “operational” and “China probably intends to pursue additional ASAT weapons capable of destroying satellites up to geosynchronous Earth orbit.

Aqsa Younas
Journalist, columnist and research analyst.
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