Space debris threatening the ISS: US condemns “dangerous” anti-satellite missile by Russia

the essential The international space station was on alert Monday: debris was reported in the orbit of the ISS. The United States accused Russia of carrying out “dangerous and irresponsible” anti-satellite missile fire.

The United States on Monday accused Russia of firing a “dangerous and irresponsible” anti-satellite missile in a show of force that directly threatened the safety of astronauts aboard the International Space Station. This incident rekindles fears that space will turn into a battleground between the great powers.

To read also: Alert on board the ISS: astronauts forced to take shelter because of space debris

On Monday, “Russia irresponsibly conducted a destructive direct-ascension anti-satellite missile test against one of its own satellites,” US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said in a statement. “This test has so far generated more than 1500 traceable orbital debris, and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces of orbital debris,” he said. added. The Space Station passes “through or near the cloud (of debris, editor’s note) every 90 minutes,” Nasa said in a statement.

An “irresponsible and destabilizing” action

On the second and third rounds – between approximately 00 a.m. AM East Coast Time American and 04 h 00 – the seven people currently on board the ISS have taken refuge in their ships, moored at the station, in order to prepare for a possible emergency evacuation. They are four American astronauts, one German and two Russian cosmonauts. This measure was taken specifically during these passages on the basis of a risk assessment by NASA.

“I am scandalized by this irresponsible and destabilizing action,” the head of the US space agency, Bill Nelson, said in a statement. “It is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only American astronauts and international partners in the ISS, but also its own cosmonauts.” Many hatches currently remain closed between different modules as a precaution (but not between the Russian and US segment).

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