After receiving criticism from West, Russia claims anti-satellite missile test offers ‘no threat’

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After receiving criticism from the West, Russia claims that the anti-satellite missile test offers ‘no threat.’ After being chastised for an anti-satellite missile test, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu stated that the fragments produced “do not pose any harm to space activities.” The debris field created by the anti-missile test in low-Earth orbit was perilous for orbiting spacecraft and would pose a threat to space activities for years, according to the US, the UK, and Nato.

“The fragments that formed pose no harm to space activity,” Russian news outlets quoted Shoigu as saying. According to the Russian defence ministry, the anti-satellite missile test destroyed the Russian spacecraft ‘Tselina-D,’ which had been in orbit since 1982. The test used a “promising” system that “accurately” hit its target, according to Shoigu. Russia cited the United States’ decision to develop a space force in 2020 as justification for beefing up its space defence capabilities. “On Nov. 15, the Russian Ministry of Defense successfully performed a test that impacted the non-operational Russian spacecraft Tselina-D, which had been in orbit since 1982,” according to a statement from the ministry.

The test was met with outrage in the West, with Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg describing it as “reckless” and “concerning.” Stoltenberg claimed the anti-satellite missile test “demonstrates that Russia is now developing new armament systems that can shoot down satellites” during a meeting with EU defence ministers. For creating deadly amounts of debris, France dubbed Russia “space vandals.” The debris will continue to threaten satellites and activities on the International Space Station, which currently has seven crew members on board, according to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

In recent months, the space station has had numerous challenges, including a smoke alarm incident in the Russian module of the ISS in September. Given the regular problems with the ISS, Russia has hinted that it will depart the space station after 2025 and launch its own orbiting station.

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