According to experts, the anti-satellite weapons test carried out by Russia means that “Russia has the potential to paralyze satellite systems”. – Russia has these possibilities and still has a say in space – said Dr. Rafał Kopeć from the Institute of Safety Sciences of the Pedagogical University in Krakow. The attempt alerted the US administration, and was also criticized by Germany and France.
– The system has been tested probably since 2014. Previously, however, a direct hit on the target was not carried out, and this is something new for Russia. However, this is not a novelty for countries that already have these technologies, told PAP Dr. Rafał Kopeć from the Institute of Safety Sciences of the Pedagogical University in Krakow.
– Anti-satellite weapon, i.e. one that is used to neutralize orbital objects, is nothing new, its first tests are in 1958. So far, however, the threshold of the active militarization of this weapon, i.e. its implementation into the operational service in strategically important quantities, has not been exceeded. The test that took place on Monday does not indicate that this threshold has been exceeded – the expert noted.
Concentrating your efforts
The PAP interlocutor indicated that the test carried out confirms the Russians’ ability to potentially paralyze satellite systems. – Russia has these possibilities and still has a say in space – he assessed.
Predicting the development of anti-satellite technologies, Dr. Kopeć said that efforts to develop these weapons will focus on expanding laser and microwave arsenals or improving hacker attacks, and not on strengthening the potential of kinetic weapons that are capable of physically destroying objects, causing the formation of clouds of debris that threaten the International Space Station.
The conducted test generated a cloud of space debris consisting of over 1500 debris, which threatened the astronauts in the ISS. The space threat created by the explosion will persist for years to come, wrote the Reuters agency, citing US officials.
Dr. Kopeć assessed the potential of the most important countries in the race for dominance in space. – A balance is being created in space between the US and China, but Russia has much less potential here. In the military aspect, it is a country much weaker than both the US and China. There is no indication that this situation will change, he said.
Reaction of the US chief of diplomacy
According to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, the test carried out clearly shows that Russia “despite its rhetorical opposition to the arming of space is inclined to threaten space exploration by all nations through its reckless and irresponsible behavior.”
– The United States, and this is why their reaction depends on the possibility of unhampered military activity in space, but at the same time they want space to retain the so-called status of a sanctuary in which satellites – including military ones – will be able to safely operate, offering support for ground operations in the field of reconnaissance or communication – assessed the interlocutor. – They themselves assure that they do not develop such weapons, which is not entirely true – he added.
In an interview with AP, NASA administrator Bill Nelson expressed his outrage over the Russian test. “It is unbelievable that the Russian government has threatened not only international astronauts but also its own by carrying out this test,” he said.
The Russian Ministry of Defense has confirmed that the test has been carried out and the satellite has been destroyed.
Main photo source: Reuters