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Space

Russia conducts an anti-satellite weapon test according to the U.S. Space Command

On July 23, the U.S. Space released a statement about having proof that Russia had undertaken a test of the Anti-satellite arm on the orbit. That occurred on July 15, but it was non-destructive. The supposed object came from a satellite not new to space enthusiasts, Cosmos-2543. Not long ago, around the beginning of this year, the U.S. Space Command reported that the same satellite has manoeuvred near a satellite belonging to the U.S. government.

In February, Gen. John Jay Raymond who serves as the chief of the space operations of U.S. Space Force, as well as commander of the U.S. Space Command, went on to accuse Russia of spying. According to him, Russia had deployed a spy. It was ejected to the Cosmos-2543 sub-satellite, and they called it the Cosmos-2542 satellite. The former satellite was always going after the USA 245 owned by National Reconnaissance Office. This is a classified imaging satellite hence the need for an alarm.

The tag of war reemerged in April with concerns of a test of an anti-satellite missile carried out by Russia. According to Raymond, it has the ability to affect American satellites located in the low Earth orbit.

Therefore, the July 15 test was yet another threat to the space assets by Russia. They also said that the satellites resemble a space-based weapon. Laura Seward Forczyk, who is a space policy expert as well as a consultant can already smell the rat. She warns that there could erupt escalation regarding space.

As far as the U.S. assistant secretary of State Christopher Ford who is also the acting undersecretary for arms control and international security, Russia is hypocritical. On one hand, it is advocating for arms control in the outer space. On the other hand, it is testing space-based weapons in that same territory. That is not fair to the United States because it chose to stop the same and if those things continue the U.S. will perceive the move by Russia to advocate for outer space arms control as a restriction to the capabilities of United States.

One would wonder why it is a big deal, yet even the tests are not destructive. However, this is the issue. According to Laura, if Russia continues to do the tests, other states, including the United States, may also want to test their ASAT systems. With no one in control of what goes up there, a problem or destruction may occur. Eventually, what will come out of the push and pull will be unpleasant. She shared her thoughts via Twitter when she tweeted about the same issue on July 23. Her exact words are that it is a dangerous feedback cycle.