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Space firms and countries have condemned Russia’s anti-satellite missile launch

ByRoman Frąckiewicz

Dec 1, 2021

Nations and space firms all around the world are condemning Russia’s anti-satellite (ASAT) test, which caused astronauts in orbit to seek cover. The seven cosmonauts and astronauts onboard the ISS (International Space Station) were compelled to take refuge in the spacecraft that they traveled to the station on Monday (November 15). The orbiting lab was traveling via a cloud of the space debris, which posed a threat to the station and its crew. The space debris, which will be locked in orbit for years, was the product of the Russian anti-satellite test, according to the US State Department, which received confirmation from the Pentagon later that day.

The test, that saw a missile demolish Cosmos 1408, a decommissioned Soviet spacecraft, has sparked outrage from countries all over the world, including South Korea, Japan, Australia as well as private spaceflight businesses like Virgin Orbit. These statements come after the US government and NASA Administrator Bill Nelson both slammed the test.

“This kind of provocations is a strong reminder that space infrastructure we depend on for our economy, science, and national security is jeopardized by human aggressiveness,” Virgin Orbit Chief Executive Officer Dan Hart stated in a statement.

“Virgin Orbit joins the rest of the space community in condemning this damaging and reckless act,” the corporation said. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation has expressed concern over Russia’s space activities. The group, which has over 90 member businesses and represents the commercial spaceflight industry, said it “strongly condemns the purposeful destruction of the satellites endangering persons in orbit as well as other spaceflight activities.”

According to a November 18 statement, Japan’s foreign ministry labeled the test “an unethical behavior that affects the sustainable and steady utilization of outer space.”

The ministry went on to say that Russia’s test “contravenes the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee’s (IADC) Space Debris Mitigation Guidelines,” which were drafted by the Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) and unanimously adopted by the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space member states (COPUOS). Member nations are required to follow these recommendations to prevent purposefully damaging space items in orbit that could result in space debris that would remain in orbit for an extended period.

“The Japanese government expresses its concern about the test and urges the Russian government not to conduct similar tests in the future,” the ministry added. As per the report, Australia’s defense minister, Peter Dutton, stated that the trial was “a provocative and reckless conduct that highlighted the risks to space systems are genuine, severe, and expanding.”

According to SpaceNews, Dutton stated in a statement on November 17 that “the world progressively relies on the space for communications, security, public safety, and commerce.” “This test, together with previous recent counter-space weapons tests, raises doubts about Russia’s commitment to space security.”

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