Russia has defended its anti-satellite test. The country was facing flak for its test. The test created space debris. Russia has now said that its test poses no threat to the International Space Station. It said that the ISS is intact and doing science experiments. According to NASA, the test created debris and therefore increased the risk of hitting ISS and other satellites. Russia had on November 15 launched a direct-ascent anti-satellite. The satellite collided with a defunct satellite in low Earth orbit. The collision generated debris. NASA said that more than 1,500 pieces of orbital debris. Besides, it also generated thousands of small pieces of debris. It is said that the debris can threaten the ISS and other space activities.
The collision forced the ISS control team to wake up the ISS crew soon after the collision. They were notified about the satellite breakup in space. The astronauts aboard the laboratory were asked to take safety measures to protect themselves in any adverse situation. The crew took shelter in Soyuz and Dragon vehicles. The vehicles are currently docked at the ISS. They remained inside the vehicles for around two hours. The rotating laboratory passed through a field of debris that was created by Russia’s satellite breakup. Seven astronauts and cosmonauts are currently present on the ISS. Defending the test, Russia’s Ministry of Defence said that fragments pose no threat to the ISS and other space activities.
Russia said that the debris generated from the collision has moved away from the orbit of the space station. The ISS orbits around the Earth at an altitude of 400 km. According to LeoLabs, the altitude of debris is estimated to be 440 to 520 km. LeoLabs is a space debris tracker agency. NASA condemned Russia’s actions. It described the test as dangerous and irresponsible behavior. Russia is also a partner on the ISS. However, Russia has said that it will exit the program soon. The country has plans to set up a new space station. It will be called Russian Orbital Service Station. The construction is likely to begin in 2025. The country said that the proposed space station will feature next-generation modules.