UPDATED 3:53 p.m. ET: The U.S. State Department has now commented on the debris-causing Russian anti-satellite test, with spokesperson Ned Price sharing that the U.S. condemned the country’s action.
Price told reporters that the Russian missile created over 1,500 pieces of “trackable orbital debris, and hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris that now threaten the interests of all nations.”
“Russia’s dangerous and irresponsible behavior jeopardizes the long-term sustainability of … outer space and clearly demonstrates that Russia’s [claims] to oppose the weaponization of space are disingenuous and hypocritical,” Price said, according to Reuters.
See original story below.
A “debris-generating event” caught the attention of U.S. Space Command on Monday. In turn, there’s been a whole lot of collective speculation, not to mention some familiar end-of-the-world jokes and an increasingly relevant reminder of the inherent problems of further militarizing space.
In a statement shared Monday morning, U.S. Space Command said it was “aware of a debris-generating event in outer space,” per Reuters. At the time, the agency said that it was currently working to learn additional info about the debris field while ensuring that—in their words—“all space-faring nations have the information necessary to maneuver satellites if impacted.”
Also on Monday, per a separate Associated Press report, astronauts on the International Space Station were tasked with the interruption of ongoing research (and a need to take shelter) due to the orbit-complicating presence of debris that’s unofficially said to have originated from a satellite. Potential issues spurred by debris could continue to be a problem for space station astronauts for several more days.
Complex has reached out to reps for NASA and Space Command for comment and will update this post accordingly. According to Reuters, an anonymous U.S. official said on Monday that “initial reports” pointed to Russia performing an ASAT (i.e. anti-satellite weapons) test in recent days. Meanwhile, a piece from a former Chinese satellite briefly proved to be a cause for space station-focused concern earlier this month.
The news comes amid a number of developments in recent years regarding how the field of research surrounding unidentified aerial phenomena (UAPs) should proceed in the modern era, with military-centered sightings receiving the bulk of the coverage.
Get a look at how people reacted to Monday’s “debris-generating event” news below.