Insight Online News
Washington, Nov 16 : NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said the crew on the International Space Station (ISS) had to take emergency safety measures due to debris generated from an anti-satellite missile test allegedly conducted by Russia.
“Earlier today, due to the debris generated by the destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts undertook emergency procedures for safety,” Nelson said in a statement on Monday.
Earlier, the State Department accused Russia of conducting a test of an anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites, which generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces.
Nelson also said NASA will continue monitoring space debris caused by the test to ensure the safety of the ISS crew.
The NASA chief called the Russian actions reckless and dangerous, adding that they are “unthinkable” given Russia’s long history of human spaceflight.
According to NASA, the ISS crew was directed to close the hatches to radial modules Columbus, Kibo, the Permanent Multipurpose Module, Bigelow Expandable Activity Module, and Quest Joint Airlock.
Hatches between the US and Russian segments remain open, the agency said in a statement.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier said the US would work with allies to respond to the incident.
US Space Command later in the day said the satellite struck in the November 15 Russian anti-satellite missile test was the Soviet-era Cosmos 1408.