War is bad, but a war in space could be even worse, and it seems to be only a matter of time until belic conflicts extend into the orbit around Earth and further out.
The United States Space Command says it has evidence that Russia tested an anti-satellite weapon in space on July 15, warning that the threat to Washington’s systems is real.
“U.S. Space Command has evidence that Russia conducted a non-destructive test of a space-based anti-satellite weapon,” the Space command wrote in a statement.
This “test is another example that the threats to U.S. and Allied space systems are real, serious, and increasing,” the statement revealed.
— Ambassador Marshall S. Billingslea (@USArmsControl) July 23, 2020
“Clearly this is unacceptable,” nuclear disarmament negotiator Marshall Billingslea tweeted, adding that it will be a “major issue” to discuss next week in Vienna when the intention is to renew the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START).
“The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year when Russia maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite,” said Gen. John W. “Jay” Raymond, Commander of U.S. Space Command and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations.
On that occasion, a pair of satellites Russians, Cosmos 2542 and 2543, stalked an American spy satellite called USA 245, also called KH-11. In the recent case on July 15, it was again one of the aforementioned satellites, Cosmos 2543, which launched an unknown object into orbit.
“This event highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control, with which Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counter space program — both ground-based anti-satellite capabilities and what would appear to be actual in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry,” revealed Dr. Christopher Ford, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State currently performing the duties of the Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security.
And although the Russians defended themselves against the accusations saying that it was only an inspection satellite, the Americans are convinced that it was something much more worrying.
“This is further evidence of Russia’s continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold the U.S. and allied space assets at risk,” Raymond revealed.