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December 1, 2021

NSSA issues statement on Russia’s ASAT weapon system test

The US condemned Russia for conducting the anti-satellite test, stating that it endangered the crew aboard the ISS.

The National Security Space Association (NSSA) has issued a statement condemning Russia’s recent test of a ground-based, anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon system against a target satellite in low-Earth orbit (LEO).

The Russian Federation conducted the direct-ascent anti-satellite missile test against one of its own satellites on 15 November.

This act resulted in the creation of debris that forced the International Space Station (ISS) crew to shelter in capsules.

NSSA stated: “This irresponsible test created thousands of pieces of long-lived debris that jeopardise the flight safety of all nations’ spacecraft and harm the sustainability of the space environment.

“Moreover, Moscow’s willful disregard for the consequences of the test callously endangered the lives of the astronauts on the International Space Station, including two Russian Cosmonauts. There is no justification for this reckless act.

“The Russian ASAT test was not an isolated incident, however. It is the latest in a series of provocative actions by both Russia and China.”

At the time of the test, US State Secretary Antony J Blinken issued a press statement saying that the 15 November events ‘clearly prove that Russia, despite its claims of opposing the weaponisation of outer space, is willing to jeopardise the long-term sustainability of outer space’.

He said that the US will work with its allies and partners as the country seeks to respond to this act.

Nasa administrator Bill Nelson said that he was outraged at the ‘irresponsible and destabilising action’ of Russia.

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