The boss of the US space agency NASA has slammed Russia for a “reckless and dangerous” anti-missile test that forced astronauts to take shelter on the International Space Station.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson has condemned the surprise weapons test that left a dangerous cloud of debris in space.
“Earlier today, due to debris resulting from the disastrous Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and astronauts performed emergency procedures to safety,” said Mr. Nelson, a former Florida senator.
“Like Secretary Blinken, I am outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action. With its long and storied history in human space flight, it is unimaginable that Russia would put not only American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but its own astronauts at risk.
“Their actions are reckless and dangerous, as well as endangering the Chinese space station and the tycoons on board.”
The State Department confirmed that a Russian weapons test had intentionally destroyed a Soviet-era satellite.
Mr Nelson said: “All countries have a responsibility to prevent the purposeful creation of space debris from ASAT and to promote a safe, sustainable space environment.
“NASA will continue to monitor the wreckage over the coming days to ensure the safety of our crew and our crew in orbit.”
US space experts say most of the debris will be gone within five years, but some fragments could remain in orbit for up to a decade.
During Monday’s emergency maneuver, NASA astronauts Tom Marshburn, Raja Chari and Kayla Barron, along with Mathias Maurer of the European Space Agency, took a shelter in their Crew Dragon spacecraft, while Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Pyotr Dubrov and NASA’s Astronaut Mark Vande Hey took ashore. His Soyuz capsule.
The astronauts carried in the spacecraft needed to undock and return to Earth if they suffered any major damage to be donated to the ISS.
The space station is passing through the debris field every 90 minutes and sheltering in the capsule for the second and third passes based on a risk assessment by NASA’s Debris Office and ballistic experts.
Credit: www.independent.co.uk /