Russia Blows Up Satellite


Rosa Shvartsman, Staff Writer

“I’m outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action,” said Bill Nelson, a NASA administrator. On November 13th through the 14th a missile was launched by Russia into the atmosphere and reached their own satellite on November 15th and destroyed it. 

 At this time, the Russian military conducted an anti-satellite test, also known as the ASAT, which caused them to shoot down an outdated satellite from 1982 in low earth orbit. 

“This test will significantly increase the risk to astronauts and cosmonauts on the International Space Station, as well as to other human spaceflight activities,” said U.S. Department of State spokesperson Ned Price.  Consequently, due to the destruction of the satellite the US State Department has identified approximately 1,500 pieces of debris, but thousands of smaller non trackable pieces of debris are unaccounted for. As a result of the mass amounts of debris, astronauts living aboard the International Space Station had to take shelter in capsules until around 2 am. In addition to astronauts aboard the ISS having to take shelter the anti-satellite test caused their own cosmonauts to seek protection. “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,” said Ned Price. 

The incident evoked strong reactions from both representatives in the U.S. and their counterparts in Russia,” said Michelle Shen and world traveler. U.S Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken blames Russia for now putting all nation’s satellites in jeopardy. “Despite its claims of opposing the weaponization of outer space, it is willing to … imperil the exploration and use of outer space by all nations through its reckless and irresponsible behavior,” said Anthony Blinken. On the other hand, Russia states that these remarks are hypocritical due to other countries doing ASAT tests including the U.S. India, and China. “Ensuring crew safety has always been and remains our top priority,” said Roscosmos also known as the Russian Space Agency.

All in all, Russia’s satellite blew up in a catastrophe causing harm to all astronauts. Subsequently, this instills fear in other countries of satellite destruction within the lower atmosphere due to debris orbiting along with other spacecraft. Following the mixed reactions from both the U.S and Russia, this explosion is worsening the drama between the two countries. All in all, was Russia right in continuing their ASAT testing or was the Russian military in the wrong for putting the ISS and other nations satellites at risk?