Russian anti-satellite missile test creates waste field

Cape Canaveral: Space debris threatened the seven astronauts aboard the International Space Station on Monday, forcing them to seek refuge in their anchored capsules and disrupt their work.

The U.S. Space Command said it was tracking a field of orbital debris, the result of a satellite crash.

The International Space Station.

The International Space Station.Credit:NASA

“Russia’s dangerous and irresponsible behavior jeopardizes the long-term sustainability of … outer space and clearly demonstrates that Russia’s (claims) to oppose the armament of space are irreparable and hypocritical,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price. , to journalists, and said the Russian missile. generated more than 1,500 pieces of “traceable orbital waste”.

The situation caused the debris to get uncomfortably close to the space station in subsequent orbits, requiring astronauts to close and then reopen several rooms, including the European Laboratory, every 1 1/2 hours until bedtime.

Mission Control said the increased threat could continue for another few days and continue to disrupt astronauts’ scientific research and other work. Four of the seven crew members arrived at the orbiting outpost Thursday night.

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“We are actively working to characterize the waste field and will continue to ensure that all space nations have the information necessary to maneuver satellites if they are affected,” said Major AnnMarie Annicelli, an Air Force spokeswoman.

“We are also working with the cross-cutting body, including the State Department and NASA, on these reports and will provide an update in the near future.”

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hi, who is midway through a years-long mission, called it “a crazy but well-coordinated day” when he bid Mission Control goodnight.

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