Russia calls the US “hypocritical” because it condemns the anti-satellite weapon test

The Russian military destroyed a decommissioned satellite, doused low Earth orbit with shrapnel, and made astronauts seek shelter on the International Space Station when the cloud of debris passed.

US officials from the Pentagon, State Department and NASA condemned Russia’s anti-satellite weapons test (or ASAT) on Monday as “ruthless” and “dangerous,” while the US Space Command confirmed that the test generated more than 1,500 debris. The test destroyed the defunct spy satellite Kosmos 1408 from the Soviet era.

“Russia has shown a deliberate disregard for the security, security, stability and long-term sustainability of the space sector for all nations,” said James Dickinson, commander of the US space command.

But the Russian military called the US response “hypocritical” and said in a statement translated by NBC that “the United States knows for a fact that the resulting fragments” from the ASAT test “do not and will not pose a threat to orbital stations and spaceships and space activities. “

The USA and Russia as well as India and China have previously destroyed their own satellites in ASAT tests. The US last conducted an ASAT test in 2008, while Russia on Tuesday the Air Force’s tests of the X-37 spacecraft showed that the Pentagon was “actively developing” space weapons.

Industry experts believe that the debris field created by Russia’s latest ASAT test will remain in orbit for years and pose a threat to other spacecraft. The earth imaging company Planet, which has more than 140 small satellites in low earth orbit, stressed that after the ASAT test, Russia was the fourth country to “blow up its own satellite from a rocket in the past 15 years”.

NASA confirmed that the International Space Station entered emergency procedures on Monday and closed its hatches while the crew protected themselves. The agency said the station “crosses or near” the debris field every 90 minutes.

“It is unthinkable that Russia would not only endanger the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson in a statement.