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Tags: Russia | russia | satellite | space station | debris | command

Report: Russian Weapons Test Created Debris in Outer Space

russian flag flies atop building
(ALEXEY SAZONOV/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 15 November 2021 12:54 PM

Russia performed a major anti-satellite weapons test that produced debris in outer space during the weekend, two U.S. officials told CNN.

"NEW — Two US officials confirm a major Russian anti-satellite weapons test over the weekend and US Space Command says it is tracking a 'debris-generating event' in outer space. State Dept expected to issue statement soon — with @atwood @jimsciutto @jmhansler,” CNN’s Kristin Fisher tweeted late Monday morning.

"To be clear, US Space Command is not attributing the debris to Russia or an ASAT test. But two US officials are," Fisher said with a follow-up tweet.

U.S. Space Command confirmed that a rare and potentially dangerous "debris-generating event" took place but did not provide details or mention Russia, CNN reported.

The officials told CNN that the State Department was preparing to put out a statement about the situation. One official told CNN that a ground-based missile was launched at a target in orbit.

The Sun reported that debris forced the International Space Station crew to take shelter and that Space Command was aware of the situation.

"We are actively working to characterize the debris field and will continue to ensure all space-faring nations have the information necessary to maneuver satellites if impacted," Space Command told The Sun. "We are also in the process of working with the interagency, including the State Department and NASA, concerning these reports and will provide an update in the near future."

CNN said the space station crew had to quickly don their spacesuits and jump into their spacecrafts in case the station was hit by some passing debris, according to Russia's space agency, ROSCOSMOS.

On Oct. 21, The New York Times reported that a recently launched Russian military satellite plunged to earth as a fireball that broke apart over Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.

The Times said the satellite had been showing signs of failure, according to orbital trackers.

The classified Russian spacecraft, identified by a U.S. Space Command database as COSMOS 2551, launched on Sept. 9 from Russia’s Plesetsk Cosmodrome, about 500 miles north of Moscow, the Times reported.

The latest news of a major anti-satellite weapons test came on the same day NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia to be more transparent about its military activities near Ukraine but he stopped short of suggesting that Moscow might be preparing to invade its former Soviet neighbor.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Russia performed a major anti-satellite weapons test that produced debris in outer space during the weekend, two U.S. officials told CNN. "NEW - Two US officials confirm a major Russian anti-satellite...
russia, satellite, space station, debris, command
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2021-54-15
Monday, 15 November 2021 12:54 PM
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