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Potentially New Mission for US Space Force: Cleaning Up Space Debris From Russian Anti-Satellite Weapons Test


Urian B., Tech Times





(Photo : Photo by OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

There could potentially be a new mission for the United States Space Force. Debris coming from a certain Russian anti-satellite weapons test is now adding new urgency to both international and government efforts to move in order to remove this flying space trash.

Space Debris Found Traveling 17,000Mph

According to Wired, a field of debris was found hurtling about 17,000 miles an hour through the part of space where Cosmos 1408, a derelict Russian satellite, had once orbited. Later during the day, U.S. State Department officials had claimed that over 1,500 bits of debris came from a Russian test of a certain anti-satellite missile.

In a post by State.gov, the Russian Federation had “recklessly conducted a destructive test” that happened with a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile directly against one of their own satellites. The test, so far, resulted in more than fifteen hundred pieces of trackable orbital debris.

Hundreds of Thousands of Small Orbital Debris

The post stated that it will also most likely generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of other smaller orbital debris. This long-lived debris will now threaten satellites along with other space objects that are important to all nations’ economic, security, and scientific interest for the upcoming decades.

In addition to the long-term threat, it will also significantly increase the total risk to cosmonauts and astronauts on the International Space Station along with other human spaceflight activities. The safety and security of all of the actors that are now exploring and using outer space for peaceful purposes were said to be “carelessly endangered” due to the test.

United States Plans to Respond to This ‘Irresponsible Act’

The event happened on Nov. 15. Despite its claims of opposition towards weaponizing outer space, Russia is still willing to jeopardize the long-term sustainability of outer space. The jeopardization could imperil the exploration and use of outer space by all nations through its very own irresponsible and reckless behavior, as noted in the post.

The post then said that the United States will be working with their partners and allies as they seek to respond to what they called an “irresponsible act.” They then called upon all of those responsible spacefaring nations to come forward and join them in their efforts to be able to develop norms of responsible behavior.

Read Also: Russia Says Anti-Satellite Missile Doesn’t Endanger ISS Astronauts, But Confirms Attacking Old Rocket

Call Upon Responsible Spacefaring Nations

The post also called upon responsible spacefaring nations to refrain from conducting irresponsible and dangerous destructive tests. They explained that the tests they were referring to are similar to Russia’s tests.

The fragments were seen to have flown dangerously close to the International Space Station. This forced the ISS crew to take shelter in the spacecraft’s least vulnerable parts, as tweeted by @roscosmos.

Экипаж Международной космической станции штатно выполняет работы согласно программе полёта.

Орбита объекта, из-за которого экипаж сегодня был вынужден согласно штатным процедурам перейти в космические корабли, отдалилась от орбиты МКС. Станция находится в «зелёной зоне» pic.twitter.com/nGk3x7nvhc

— РОСКОСМОС (@roscosmos) November 15, 2021

Related Article: US Condemns Russian Missile Test: ISS Astronauts Seek Shelter Due to Space Debris

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Written by Urian B.

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