The United States has denounced Russia for conducting a “dangerous and irresponsible” missile strike that blew up one of its own satellites, creating a debris cloud that threatened seven astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS).
US officials said Washington had not been informed in advance about the test and would talk to allies about how to respond.
“The Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.
Blinken added that the “dangerous and irresponsible test” had generated more than 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris and will likely create hundreds of thousands of pieces of smaller orbital debris.
Britain’s Defence Minister Ben Wallace slammed Russia for the anti-satellite weapons test. “This destructive anti-satellite missile test by Russia shows a complete disregard for the security, safety and sustainability of space,” Wallace said in a post tweeted by the defence ministry.
Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called the test “a reckless act by Russia”.