Russian military admits destroying satellite in orbit

Russia admitted this Tuesday to having carried out a test firing against one of its old satellites in orbit, while deeming “hypocritical” the statements of Washington which accuses it of having endangered the crew of the International Space Station (ISS).

“On November 15, the Russian Defense Ministry successfully conducted a test in which the Tselina-D spacecraft, in orbit since 1982 and inactive, was destroyed,” the Russian military said in a report. communicated. Minister Sergei Choïgou even judged that this test had been “a gem”.

A potential danger for the ISS

Moscow on Monday fired from Earth at an old Soviet satellite in a test that the United States said generated a “cloud” of debris potentially dangerous for the orbital station and a host of satellites. The seven people on board the ISS had to temporarily take refuge in their vessels moored at the station to allow their evacuation if necessary. The incident therefore highlighted the risks of a militarization of the cosmos.

The Russian ministry denounced Washington’s “hypocritical” accusations of the danger posed by the debris. “The United States knows full well that these fragments (…) will not present any threat,” he said in a statement. The day before, the boss of NASA, Bill Nelson, however said he was “scandalized” by a “destabilizing” action also posing risks to the Chinese station.

An “irresponsible” act

The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, meanwhile said that this debris field created by the firing of a Russian missile would threaten space activities “for decades”. He also promised that his country would “work” with its allies to respond to “this irresponsible act”.

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“Space is a common good (…). The wreckers of space have an overwhelming responsibility by generating debris which pollutes and puts our astronauts and satellites in danger ”, for her part reacted the French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly.

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