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Russia destroys satellite in ASAT test
Posted: Sat, Nov 20, 2021, 10:45 AM ET (1545 GMT)
Russia destroyed a defunct satellite with an antisatellite weapon, creating thousands of pieces of debris in low Earth orbit. The U.S. government said Monday that a direct-ascent ASAT hit Cosmos-1408, a two-ton satellite launched in 1982 and in an orbit about 485 kilometers high. The test created at least 1,500 pieces of debris large enough to be tracked and potentially hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces of debris. That debris cloud caused the crew of the International Space Station to shelter in their spacecraft for two hours early Monday. U.S. government officials, including the State Department, Defense Department and NASA, all strongly condemned the test because of the hazards it created for other satellites in LEO. Russia's defense ministry confirmed the test Tuesday, but claimed the debris did not pose a threat to the ISS or to other satellites.
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