NASA Administrator Bill Nelson condemned the action on Monday, calling the test “irresponsible and destabilizing.”
Seven crew members aboard the International Space Station had to seek emergency shelter in a spacecraft docked to the ISS on Monday because of a new, potentially dangerous debris field generated by a Russian anti-satellite test.
Astronauts broke into the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Russian Soyuz spacecraft after a Russian missile detonated one of the country’s dead spy satellites over the weekend.
A US State Department spokesman on Monday condemned the anti-satellite test. “The Russian Federation recklessly conducted a direct ascent and destructive satellite test of an anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites,” Ned Price told reporters. increase the risk to astronauts and astronauts on the International Space Station, as well as to other human spaceflight activities.”
Price’s statement confirms US Space Command’s previous reports of “a debris-generating event in outer space,” which CNN first reported was suspected to have come from Russian weapons tests by US officials.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson also weighed in, saying he was outraged by the “irresponsible” and “destabilizing” action.
“With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unimaginable that Russia would put not only American and international fellow astronauts on the ISS, but their own astronauts at risk. Their actions are reckless and dangerous, with They are also a threat to the Chinese space station and the tycoons on board,” Nelson said in a statement.
The cloud of debris resulting from the test may be similar to the cloud left behind by Chinese weapons tests conducted in 2007 and remain in low-Earth orbit for years. just last weekSpace junk from a 2007 test.
Private space debris tracking company LeoLabs also reports that its radar data “confirms the detection of several objects near the expected location of Kosmos 1408.” Kosmos 1408 (sometimes referred to as Kosmos-1408) is a long-dormant Russian spy satellite launched in 1982.
“I would expect thousands of pieces of debris listed from a satellite the size of Kosmos-1408,” Harvard astronomer and principal satellite watcher Jonathan McDowell said on Twitter.
The Russian space agency Roscosmos said in a statement to the Russian news agency TASS that “the orbit of the object, which caused the crew to board the spacecraft as per routine procedure, has moved away from the orbit of the ISS. The station is in the green zone.” ”
Astronauts aboard the ISS have returned to the main station, but have continued to work with NASA to monitor the debris cloud and very carefully modify their sleeping arrangements, according to a broadcast with Mission Control in Houston.