November 27, 2021

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Riots over Russian space debris and 'international space station endangered by rash act'

Riots over Russian space debris and ‘international space station endangered by rash act’

In the world of international spaceflight, a dispute arose over Russia’s experiment with an anti-satellite weapon. The US government, NASA and NATO say the International Space Station and other space missions are at risk as a result. Russia says there hasn’t been much happening and says that America itself knows better.

The riot revolves around the dismantling of the Russian satellite Zelina-D. It has been in space since 1982. Russia has since confirmed the destruction of the Zelina-D missile in space with a missile. Moscow’s Defense Ministry says the debris has not and will not pose a threat to satellites or other space stations.

America sees it differently. The US Army’s Space Command says the weapons test resulted in a cloud of more than 1,500 pieces of space debris, which can decay into hundreds of thousands of tiny particles and remain in orbit for years. According to the Space Command, this poses a significant risk to the crew of the International Space Station and other manned space missions.

28000 km/h

The International Space Station orbits the Earth at a speed of 28,000 kilometers per hour; At this speed, even a single small particle can cause massive damage. NASA Administrator Nelson says astronauts on the International Space Station are now four times more at risk than they were before the Russian action.

US Secretary of State Blinken described the test with the anti-satellite weapon as reckless and irresponsible. NATO chief Stoltenberg also used the word recklessly. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov believes that this is hypocrisy. According to him, America itself is fueling an arms race in space.

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shutters closed

Shortly after Zelina-D was destroyed, the seven crew members on the International Space Station had to move into special capsules they could use to leave immediately in the event of a disaster. After a few hours they managed to leave her again.

The seven astronauts were ordered to close the shutters of some parts of the International Space Station as a precaution. The space station passes through the debris zone every hour and a half.

Russian news agency TASS reported that the leadership of the Roscosmos space agency will speak with its NASA colleagues later today. This meeting was already on the agenda.

space debris problem

The International Space Station has had to dodge space debris three times last year. The NASA administrator at the time said: The problem of space debris is getting wider. NASA tracks about 22,000 objects larger than 10 cm. Of these, only 1,000 are actually in use as satellites. NASA estimates the number of objects with a diameter of 1 to 10 centimeters at half a million. Initiatives are underway to remove space debris.