NASA chief Bill Nelson condemns Russian anti-satellite test

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has condemned a Russian anti-satellite test on Monday (Nov. 15) that put the International Space Station vulnerable to colliding with the ensuing particles.

Shortly earlier than 2 a.m. EST (0700 GMT) on Monday morning, flight controllers awakened the seven-person crew of the ISS and instructed them to take shelter of their return ships because the orbiting lab handed by way of a discipline of orbital particles, or space junk, which apparently resulted from a direct-ascent anti-satellite (DA-ASAT) missile colliding with a defunct Russian satellite tv for pc. 

“Earlier today, due to the debris generated by the destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts undertook emergency procedures for safety,” Nelson said in a NASA statement. “I’m outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action. With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts.”

Related: Russian anti-satellite test a ‘dangerous and irresponsible’ act that threatens astronauts, US says

“Their actions are reckless and dangerous, threatening as well the Chinese space station and the taikonauts on board,” Nelson added. 

In addition to the seven individuals at present dwelling and dealing on the International Space Station — two Russian cosmonauts, three NASA astronauts, one European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut and one Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut — there are three crewmembers on board China’s Tiangong space station.  

Related tales:

The anti-satellite test created greater than 1,500 items of trackable space particles and a whole bunch of hundreds of smaller, undetectable items of particles in low Earth orbit, U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price mentioned Monday throughout a information convention. 

That particles not solely threatens the security of space station crews, nevertheless it may additionally harm or destroy satellites in Earth orbit within the occasion of a collision
— thereby growing the quantity of space junk that satellites and different space missions might want to keep away from sooner or later.

“All nations have a responsibility to prevent the purposeful creation of space debris from ASATs and to foster a safe, sustainable space environment,” Nelson mentioned. “NASA will continue monitoring the debris in the coming days and beyond to ensure the safety of our crew in orbit.”

Email Hanneke Weitering at [email protected] or comply with her @hannekescience. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Shopping Cart