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

(Photo : Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

International Space Station (ISS) astronauts had to take shelter in a transport craft due to the danger brought about by space debris that got too close to the space station.

Later, the United States condemned Russia for conducting an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) test. The test involved a missile that destroyed one of Russia’s own satellites, generating more than 1,500 pieces of space debris.

Last week, the ISS successfully dodged space debris to avoid getting hit by it. The space junk came from one of China’s old weather satellites, the Fengyun-1C. The weather satellite was destroyed in an ASAT test back in 2007.

ISS Astronauts Forced to Take Shelter

The ISS astronauts were forced to take shelter in a transport craft “when the station passed uncomfortably close to a field of orbital debris,” according to a report by Engadget.

Seven astronauts are currently aboard the ISS. Four of these astronauts arrived just last week as part of the much-delayed Crew-3 mission of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

The astronauts had to open and close multiple compartments frequently throughout the day as the ISS had to pass by the field of space junk every 90 minutes.

According to the report by Engadget, one of the astronauts aboard the ISS, Mark Vande Hei, thanked the NASA mission control for providing the astronauts with situational awareness regarding the field of orbital debris.

Related Article: Space Debris Is A Growing Threat, Scientists Warn

US Condemns Russia’s ASAT Test

The U.S. State Department confirms and condemns that Russia conducted an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT) test in low Earth orbit.

Full statement:

— Michael Sheetz (@thesheetztweetz) November 15, 2021

Engadget said that while neither the U.S. nor NASA named which space debris forced the ISS astronauts to take shelter, the U.S. State Department later condemned Russia for an ASAT test that destroyed one of Russia’s satellites and generated more than 1,500 pieces of space junk.

In a statement, U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price called Russia out for its “dangerous and irresponsible behavior.”

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

The spokesperson also said that the U.S. would work with its allies to respond to the missile test of Russia.

ISS Dodged Chinese Space Debris This Week

This latest incident with the orbital debris field comes just after the ISS had to dodge the space debris of an old Chinese weather satellite last week.

According to a report published by Space, the piece of space debris that the ISS had to dodge last week came from the Fengyun-1C weather satellite. The Fengyun-1C was destroyed in 2007 and generated more than 3,500 pieces of space junk.

To dodge the space debris, a supply spacecraft docked to the ISS had to fire its rockets to change the space station’s speed as well as its orbit.

Read Also: Space Junk Crashes and Incidents Emphasize the Need to Remove Them From Space

This article is owned by Tech Times

Written by Isabella James

ⓒ 2021 All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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