Russia admitted today that it had sprayed one of its satellites into orbit in a test, denouncing Washington’s “hypocritical statements” that it accuses of endangering the crew of the International Space Station (ISS).
Moscow fired from Earth on Monday at a former Soviet satellite in a test Washington said generated “a potentially dangerous cloud” of debris for the orbiter and a number of satellites.
The seven people – four Americans, two Russians, and one German – aboard the ISS had to temporarily take refuge in the ships docked at the station to allow their evacuation, if necessary.
After a day of silence, the Russian Ministry of Defense today admitted that it had “successfully” fired at a Tselina-D type spacecraft, inactive and in orbit since 1982, without specifying which weapon would have been used.
The defense minister also denounced Washington’s “hypocritical” accusations of the danger posed by the wreckage.
“The United States is well aware that these fragments … will pose no threat,” he said in a note.
On Monday, NASA chief Bill Nelson said he was “scandalized” by the “destabilizing” action that also poses risks for the Chinese station.
The head of US diplomacy, Antony Blinken, said this debris field created by the firing of the Russian missile would threaten space activities “for decades”.
“Space is a common good. Space destroyers have an overwhelming responsibility in generating debris that pollutes and endangers our astronauts and satellites”, reacted, in turn, the French Minister of Armed Forces, Florence Parly.
The French Minister for Foreign Affairs, Jean-Yves Le Drian, also condemned Russia’s conduct of “firing a shot at one of its own satellites.
Source: with agencies