The US State Department on Monday accused Russia of having acted in a “dangerous and irresponsible” way with a military test with an anti-satellite missile that put astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) “at risk” due to space debris generated.
This was indicated by the spokesman for the State Department, Ned Price, in a press conference in which he confirmed the military test by Moscow in which it destroyed one of its satellites.
“The dangerous and irresponsible behavior of Russia endangers the security of outer space and clearly demonstrates that Russia’s statements against the use of weapons in space are false and hypocritical,” the US official said.
Price said that the explosion of the Russian satellite has generated more than “1,500 identifiable space debris” and hundreds of thousands more of small size. “This test significantly increases the risk for ISS astronauts and cosmonauts, as well as other human space activities,” he said.
For its part, the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, has assured this Tuesday that its “priority” has been and continues to be “to guarantee the safety of the crew” of the ISS. However, the agency made no reference to the alleged military test with an anti-satellite missile.
There are currently seven astronauts on the ISS, Americans Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron; along with Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, and German Matthias Maurer from the European Space Agency.
The military test, not reported by Russia, comes at a time of growing tensions between Moscow and Washington over the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, where according to the Ukrainian government there are about 90,000 Russian soldiers.