Russia conducted a damaging satellite Antisatellite test

Cosmos-1408 satellite breaks in LEO

LAS VEGAS (AP) — In an intentional test of a Russian anti-satellite device, a Russian satellite broke apart in low Earth orbit, resulting in thousands of pieces of debris.

According to commercial and government tracking data, the satellite Cosmos-1408 looks to have broken up late Nov. 14 or early Nov. 15 Eastern time. The satellite, which weighed over 2,000 kilograms and was launched in 1982, was last detected in a 485-kilometre orbit.

The satellite was destroyed by an ASAT, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price. He claimed that the Russian Federation unwisely decided and performed a catastrophic satellite assessment of a direct-ascent antisatellite missile for one of its own satellites.

He also stated that the test has produced about 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris so far. This also includes hundreds of thousands of smaller particles of orbital debris, which now pose a threat to all nations.”

The test will “seriously raise the risk to astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station, as well as other human spaceflight activities,” he noted.

Because of a “debris cloud,” the seven people aboard the International Space Station were told to stay in their Crew Dragon and Soyuz spaceships for around two hours on Nov. 15. The debris cloud has made numerous further close passes to the station since then, but no damage has been done. The station’s crew continued a few operations later in the day despite parts of the station being sealed as a safety measure for any impacts.

NASA confirmed the Russian ASAT test in a separate statement issued hours after the State Department revealed it. The debris from that catastrophe, according to the report, forced the crew to seek refuge earlier in the day.

Russia’s risky and irresponsible behaviour, according to Price, jeopardises the long-term viability of outer space. It also reveals that Russia’s claims to oppose space weaponization are deceptive and hypocritical.

When asked afterwards if the US will file a formal diplomatic protest, Price said the US has warned senior Russian authorities about the irresponsibility and risk of such a test on several occasions. He denied commenting on any precise measures the U.S. government or those of supporters would take in reaction to the test.

Exhibitions by Russia

“Russia has shown a purposeful disrespect for the security, safety, stability, and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations,” said US Space Command commander Gen. James Dickinson.

“We’re keeping an eye on the Cosmos-1408 occurrence. We now observe six radar detections, which might be individual objects, debris, or clouds of junk, where there used to be one satellite,” Dan Ceperley, chief executive of LeoLabs, stated a few hours before the State Department release. Later, the business stated that it had seen at least 30 different objects.

Later, he claimed that his company’s ground-based radars were tracking Cosmos-1408 as a single object three times per day. This pattern persisted until numerous objects were spotted at 11:20 a.m. Eastern on Nov. 15, indicating that the object had broken up within the previous day.

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