WASHINGTON, November 16. /TASS/. Russia’s alleged test of an anti-satellite missile has endangered the International Space Station (ISS) and the crew on board of the orbital outpost, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said earlier that "On November 15, 2021, the Russian Federation recklessly conducted a destructive test of a direct-ascent anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites" and it resulted in "over fifteen hundred pieces of trackable orbital debris."
"Like [US] Secretary [of State Antony] Blinken, I’m outraged by this irresponsible and destabilizing action," the statement quotes Nelson as saying. "With its long and storied history in human spaceflight, it is unthinkable that Russia would endanger not only the American and international partner astronauts on the ISS, but also their own cosmonauts."
"Their actions are reckless and dangerous, threatening as well the Chinese space station and the taikonauts on board," he added.
Nelson also said that the US-based National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would continue closely monitoring space debris, caused by Russia’s alleged missile test.
"Earlier today, due to the debris generated by the destructive Russian Anti-Satellite (ASAT) test, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts undertook emergency procedures for safety," the statement quoted Nelson as saying.
"NASA will continue monitoring the debris in the coming days and beyond to ensure the safety of our crew in orbit," he said.
On Monday, the ISS approached space debris several times. This information came from NASA’s Mission Control Center in Houston. During the first two incidents, when debris approached the ISS, Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov and US astronaut Mark Vande Hei went over to the Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft, while US astronauts Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn, Kayla Barron and Germany’s Matthias Maurer went onboard the Crew Dragon spacecraft.
In the third episode, the cosmonauts remained onboard the ISS, doing their routine tasks.
Later, US Department of State Spokesperson Ned Price stated that a Russian anti-satellite weapon’s test was behind the space junk, which endangered the international orbital outpost.