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Russia confirms ASAT test, claims it poses no danger


(16 Nov 2021) Russia's defence ministry has admitted to destroying one of its satellites during a missile test, confirming accusations levied earlier by the United States. "The Russian defence ministry successfully conducted a test, as a result of which the Russian spacecraft Tselina-D (aka Kosmos 1408) was destroyed," the military said in a statement.

The PL-19/Nudol interceptor was fired from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome. Nudol was first tested in 2014, with the first successful test occurring in late 2015 at the third attempt. Tests have continued over the last few years, although the most recent was the first to involve the destruction of an actual satellite in orbit. The target of the missile was Kosmos 1408, a 1982 Soviet signals intelligence satellite that has been defunct for several decades.

U.S. officials had denounced Russia for conducting a "dangerous and irresponsible" missile test that blew up one of its own satellites, creating a debris cloud that threatened the International Space Station.

NASA said the crew aboard the ISS – currently four Americans, a German and two Russians -- were woken up and forced to take shelter in their return ships.

US officials said they were not informed in advance of the anti-satellite missile test -- only the fourth ever to hit a spacecraft from the ground -- which generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris.

The Russian military said that it was carrying out planned activities to strengthen its defence capabilities but denied that the test was dangerous.

"The United States knows for certain that the resulting fragments, in terms of test time and orbital parameters, did not and will not pose a threat to orbital stations, spacecraft and space activities," it said.

[Russia's military can predict the orbits of 1,500+ pieces of debris created by hitting a defunct satellite with a kinetic weapon? Ah no, they don't have to! Russia’s Defense Ministry claimed the test was harmless because "The ISS is located 40-60 km lower than the fragments of the destroyed satellite." How stupid can this get? – Ed.]

The confirmation of the U.S. claims came shortly after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had reportedly dismissed them.

"To declare that the Russian Federation creates risks for the peaceful use of space is, at the very least, hypocrisy," Lavrov told a press conference in Moscow, adding that "there are no facts" behind the claims.

Dr. Jonathan McDowell, a Harvard astrophysicist, said that "The feeling among people in the space industry is that we have way too much debris up there already -- to deliberately generate more is just inexcusable."

The first objects from the debris cloud should start to enter the atmosphere within a few months, but it could be up to 10 years before it clears up entirely, he said.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement he was "outraged by this irresponsible and destabilising action."

"With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts" as well as Chinese taikonauts aboard China's space station, he said.

The United States shot down a satellite in 2008 in response to China demonstrating a similar knockout in 2007. India was the last to carry out a test on a target in 2019, creating hundreds of pieces of space junk strongly criticised by other powers, including the United States.

Reference: AFP

#ASAT  #debris  #ISS  #Kosmos  #Nudol  #space junk  #Tselina  

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External


> Russian suspected ground-launched ASAT test scatters dangerous debris through LEO (Breaking Defense)

Follow-ups


19 Apr 22 - .S. Vice President Kamala Harris pledged that the United States would not conduct destructive anti-satellite tests and called on
20 Jan 22 - Chinese satellite almost hit by Russian ASAT test debris
01 Dec 21 - Elon Musk says Starlink satellites have had to dodge debris from Russia's anti-satellite missile test
22 Nov 21 - After another ASAT test, will governments finally take action?
20 Nov 21 - Visualizations show the extensive cloud of debris Russia's anti-satellite test created
18 Nov 21 - Space debris from a Russian missile test could disrupt Elon Musk's Starlink project to beam the internet from orbit
17 Nov 21 - Satellite operators hit by Russian action
17 Nov 21 - Russia Confirms ASAT Test, Denies Debris Threat
17 Nov 21 - Russia clearly knew the consequences of ASAT test, says former U.S. intelligence official

Back issues


15 Nov 21 - Russian ASAT test endangers astronauts aboard the ISS – reports
02 Sep 21 - Anti-satellite weapons must be banned before they cause 'major fragmentation event', astronauts and space agencies warn
26 Jul 20 - U.S., Russia in clash over alleged ASAT test
23 Jul 20 - Russia just tested satellite-destroying tech in space, US Space Command claims
16 Apr 20 - Russia conducts another test of its missile system to take out satellites
08 Aug 19 - More than 50 pieces of debris remain in space after India destroyed its own satellite in March
07 Apr 19 - White House tells NASA to resume co-operation with ISRO
07 Apr 19 - First pieces of debris from Indian ASAT test catalogued
03 Apr 19 - India declines comment on NASA's anti-satellite criticism
02 Apr 19 - More debris from ASAT test detected
28 Mar 19 - India's ASAT test: results and reactions
27 Mar 19 - India shoots down satellite in ASAT test
16 Jan 14 - Seven years ago: China's ASAT test
13 Mar 13 - 'China supports space junk reduction' - official
15 Oct 10 - Debris from Chinese ASAT test reaches 3,000-mark
25 Feb 08 - U.S. military declares satellite shootdown a success
21 Feb 08 - U.S. Navy shoots down defunct spy satellite
15 Feb 08 - Plans to shoot down 'unresponsive' spy satellite detailed
14 Feb 08 - U.S. military confirms upcoming ASAT test
13 Feb 08 - U.S. may shoot down failed spy satellite, report
29 Jan 07 - Number of detected FY-1C fragments rises dramatically
23 Jan 07 - China: yes, we did it
19 Jan 07 - Update: China reportedly blows up weather satellite in ASAT test
18 Jan 07 - China reportedly blows up weather satellite in ASAT test