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US expresses outrage over Russian space junk

ANI | Updated: Nov 16, 2021 08:29 IST


Washington [US], November 16 (ANI): The United States slammed Russia on Monday for reckless and dangerous action resulting in debris generated from an anti-satellite missile test allegedly conducted by Russia that forced the International Space Station's crew to take evasive action.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said that the crew on the International Space Station (ISS) had to take emergency safety measures due to debris generated from an anti-satellite missile test allegedly conducted by Russia.
"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 statement on Monday (local time).
Earlier, the State Department accused Russia of conducting a test of an anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration Administrator also said NASA will continue monitoring space debris caused by the test to ensure the safety of the ISS crew.

The NASA chief called the Russian actions reckless and dangerous, adding that they are "unthinkable" given Russia's long history of human spaceflight.
According to the agency statement, the ISS crew was directed to close the hatches to radial modules Columbus, Kibo, the Permanent Multipurpose Module, Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, and Quest Joint Airlock.
Hatches between the US and Russian segments remain open, NASA said in a statement.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier said the US would work with allies to respond to the incident.
"Like Secretary Blinken, 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. Their actions are reckless and dangerous, threatening as well the Chinese space station and the taikonauts on board," he said in the statement further.
An additional precautionary measure of sheltering the crew was executed for two passes through or near the vicinity of the debris cloud. The crew members made their way into their spacecraft shortly before 2 am. EST and remained there until about 4 am. The space station is passing through or near the cloud every 90 minutes, but the need to shelter for only the second and third passes of the event was based on a risk assessment made by the debris office and ballistics specialists at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, the statement read further. (ANI)

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