Russia, missile destroys satellite

US and NATO condemned the test as “reckless action”

Russia confirmed yesterday that it had tested a new generation weapon system (an anti-satellite direct ascent missile) with which the Soviet satellite no longer operational “Tselina-D” in orbit since 1982 was destroyed, a test which NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has condemned as “reckless action”.

The criticism of the United States that the test has put the lives of the seven astronauts on the International Space Station, four of them Americans, at risk is “hypocritical” for Russia, as stated by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, citing their militarization of space by the US, with their new Space Command.

Russia – the American Space Command had denounced a few hours earlier – “has shown deliberate indifference to the security, stability and long-term sustainability of all of space domination. The debris generated by the explosion will continue for decades to pose a threat to the activities in space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions at risk “.

It is the fourth test of a missile launched from the ground against an orbiting platform. Yesterday the space station crew (in addition to the four Americans, a German and two Russians) were forced to take refuge in the re-entry capsule.

The explosion put more than 1,500 debris into low orbit, according to US data and “will generate hundreds of thousands of smaller fragments in the future”. “The Americans knew with certainty that the fragments formed by the test have no place and will not pose any threat to orbiting stations, shuttles and space activities,” replied the Ministry of Defense in Moscow.

Stoltenberg today instead reiterated that the test could have endangered astronauts and also denounced the development of weapon systems capable of hitting crucial satellites for civilian navigation and communication systems.