“Russia blew up one of its satellites in space a few days ago and it has raised a lot of safety concerns,” Orak said, “The United States (US) and the United Kingdom (UK) disapproved of the test. They called it ‘dangerous and irresponsible’.”
“The US officials,” Orak added, “believe it endangered the crew aboard the spacecraft International Space Station (ISS).”
“ISS is a large spacecraft that orbits around the Earth. It has seven crew members on board. There are seven astronauts: four American, two Russian, and one German,” Felix remembered clearly.
“Right, Felix,” Orak continued, “Russia conducted an anti-satellite missile test. It is a missile launched from the ground to destroy satellites orbiting the Earth.
When the satellite was destroyed, it generated a lot of debris (broken parts of the satellite). There were 1,500 pieces of trackable debris and other small pieces. Space debris moves so fast that it can damage other satellites and spacecraft in space.”
“Is the crew okay?” Verum said, worried.
Yes, the debris passed by without any incident,” Orak assured her. He added, “The astronauts had to take shelter in the station’s capsule, in case they needed to escape. It is a safety protocol. Capsules are astronauts’ lifeboats.”
“I am glad nothing happened,” Scorch said, “What is Russia saying about it?”
“Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, said the debris moved away from the ISS orbit. It added that floating debris is not a threat to any space activities,” Orak said, “The Russian officials also mentioned that India, the United States, and China had conducted similar tests in the past.
It’s true, many countries can destroy satellites in space from the ground.”
“Which satellite did Russia destroy?” Felix said.
“The debris is from Kosmos-1408. It was an old and inactive spy satellite from 1982. It had stopped working many years ago,” Orak said.
“Debris in space is a serious problem,” Orak concluded, “They pollute the space environment and damage other objects in space. Hence, such anti-satellite missile tests are discouraged.”