Russian Anti-Satellite Test Results In Orbital Debris

15th November 2021

• Russia has conducted an anti- satellite weapon (ASAT) test, resulting in over 1 500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of smaller orbital debris.

• U.S. State Department: “dangerous and irresponsible behavior by the Russian Federation”

• The ISS crew sheltered in their lifeboats today due to the risk of debris from the test.

Russia destroys satellite in ASAT test

by Jeff Foust — November 15, 2021

Updated 4 p.m. Eastern with British statement.

LAS VEGAS — A Russian satellite broke up in low Earth orbit in a deliberate test of a Russian antisatellite device that created thousands of pieces of debris.

The satellite, Cosmos-1408, appears to have broken up late Nov. 14 or early Nov. 15 Eastern time, based on commercial and government tracking data. The satellite, weighing about 2,000 kilograms, was launched in 1982 and, now defunct, was last tracked in an orbit about 485 kilometers high.


Russian direct-ascent anti-satellite missile test creates significant, long-lasting space debris

By U.S. Space Command Public Affairs Office


Russia tested a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile on Nov. 15, 2021, Moscow Standard Time, that struck a Russian satellite [COSMOS 1408] and created a debris field in low-Earth orbit. The test so far has generated more than 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris.

“Russia has demonstrated a deliberate disregard for the security, safety, stability, and long-term sustainability of the space domain for all nations,” said U.S. Army Gen. James Dickinson, U.S. Space Command commander. “The debris created by Russia’s DA-ASAT will continue to pose a threat to activities in outer space for years to come, putting satellites and space missions at risk, as well as forcing more collision avoidance maneuvers. Space activities underpin our way of life and this kind of behavior is simply irresponsible.”

USSPACECOM’s initial assessment is that the debris will remain in orbit for years and potentially for decades, posing a significant risk to the crew on the International Space Station and other human spaceflight activities, as well as multiple countries’ satellites.


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