The United States is accusing the Russians of conducting a worrying test in Earth’s orbit, involving a missile capable of destroying satellites. If this story sounds familiar to you, it is because this type of accusation has happened at least twice this year – once in April and once in July, with Russia then defending itself and saying it is against the militarization of space.
This time, the US Space Command “dropped the bomb” on Twitter on Wednesday (16), stating that Russia conducted such an anti-satellite test with a missile, and saying that the Russians continue to carry weapons into space with the Command. Space continues “ready to protect and defend the interests of the United States and its allies against aggression in the space domain”.
On its official website, the Space Command also talked about it, specifying that the Russian anti-satellite missile would be of the direct ascension type. There, Americans are more staunch against Russian tests: “Russia publicly states that it is working to prevent the transformation of outer space into a battlefield, but at the same time, Moscow continues to carry weapons into space,” said organ that today is the sixth branch of the US Armed Forces. They follow the statement stating that “the establishment of the US Space Command as the main branch of the Armed Forces could not have been more timely”, as “we are ready and committed to stop the aggression and defend our nation and our allies from hostile acts in the space”. President Donald Trump formalized the creation of the U.S. Space Force in December last year. Also according to the Space Command, the most recent Russian anti-satellite test is capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit and, if this weapon is tested on a real satellite, it can leave a huge trail of debris in Earth’s orbit, putting in risk commercial satellites and also polluting the space environment even more, at a time when orbital waste is an urgent agenda for space agencies and private companies around the world. On the other side of the ring, Maria Zakharova, a spokesman for the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the American Pentagon, in making such accusations against the Russians, only seeks to justify its own development of space weapons, as if seeking a non-existent enemy to explain the reasons for his own armament. It is worth remembering that both the USA and Russia are signatories to the Outer Space Treaty, which precisely prohibits the militarization of space, although it does not prohibit any country from developing technologies capable of destroying its own deactivated satellites.