Russian anti-satellite test; US accuses the test as “dangerous”

Russia conducted an anti-satellite weapon test on November 15 but after the test, US officials accused Russia where the test threatened the lives of the seven astronauts on board the International Space Station, The Guardian reported.

US and British officials say that a weapons test that blasted a satellite emitted debris and endangered seven crew members on the International Space Station. The carelessness while taking these kinds of tests would put every life in danger- said US officials. Russia fired a missile at one of its own satellites over the weekend, generating more than 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and hundreds of pieces of smaller debris, which the US said: “now threaten the interests of all nations”.

Experts say weapons destroying satellites could create clouds of fragments that could collide with other objects, creating a network reaction of projectiles through the Earth’s orbit.

The team contained four US astronauts, a German astronaut, and two Russian cosmonauts. As per NAS’s explanation, the seven were directed to take shelter in their docked spaceship capsules for two hours after the test as a precaution to allow for a quick getaway had it been necessary.

The research lab, orbiting about 402 km above Earth, continued to pass through or near the debris cluster every 90 minutes, but NASA specialists determined it was safe for the crew to return to the station’s interior after the third pass. The crew was also ordered to seal off hatches to several modules of the space station for the time being, according to NASA.

According to the US, the ground-launched, Russia’s anti-satellite missile destroyed one of Russia’s own satellites which generated more than 1,500 pieces of debris and hundreds of thousands of smaller chunks, according to the US State Department.

According to NASA, the crew was instructed to wake up and close the hatches between the modules on the orbital platform and then step back to Soyuz and crew dragon craft for safety as the space station approached the debris field.

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Russia had been continuously experimenting with satellite launching and other means of space experiments like movie making. Meanwhile, the same type of test, the anti-satellite tests- was conducted by the US in 1959, when satellites were rare and new.