Comprehensive coverage

The US will stop testing anti-satellite weapons and demand that this become an international norm; China: developing systems for towing satellites

US Vice President Kamala Harris announced this in a review before the Space Guard; More than 1,600 pieces are floating in space since the Russian test about six months ago, over 2,400 pieces are still floating 15 years after the Chinese test; Russia is setting conditions indirectly related to the war in Ukraine

Anti-satellite weapon. Illustration: shutterstock
Anti-satellite weapon. Illustration: shutterstock

The US will stop conducting anti-satellite weapon tests and will demand that this become an international norm - this is what Vice President Kamala Harris announced this week, during a visit to the Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, a base from which the Space Guard also operates, one of whose duties is to track space debris and satellites to prevent collisions.

Space alliance between Russia and China

On the eve of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on entering a new era of international relations - including in outer space.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed on February 4, during the Winter Olympics in Beijing, a joint statement regarding "preventing an arms race in outer space" and supporting the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space. The two leaders stated their opposition to US plans to develop global missile defense and attempts by some countries to turn outer space into an arena of conflict, according to a translation by the China Institute of Aerospace Studies at the Air University. The leaders also vowed "to make all necessary efforts to prevent an arms race in outer space."

The Chinese government said in response that it is developing a weapon that will drag satellites and damage them without producing space debris.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Sputnik that Moscow sees Washington's decision to impose a moratorium on anti-satellite weapons testing as a step in the right direction.

Ryabkov said, adding that another problem is that the US has already completed tests of anti-satellite weapons in the past. "I want to remind you of Russia's proposal, together with China, to develop a treaty on the non-deployment of weapons in outer space," Ryabkov said, adding that Moscow calls on Washington to return to constructive negotiations on this issue.

Rybakov also added: "What about our well-known proposal for a freeze on the deployment of medium-range missile systems, is the US willing to return to its consideration in the affirmative, and is it willing to commit not to deploy such systems anywhere in response to our freeze?"

Harris: Space belongs to everyone

"Space is an extraordinary place. Whether it's satellites orbiting the Earth, humans landing on the moon, or telescopes peering into the farthest reaches of the universe, space is exciting. He spurs our imaginations, and forces us to ask big questions. Space - it affects us all, and it connects us all. There are so many opportunities in space for our country and for humanity as a whole — from science and commerce to national security."

"The current administration has increased investments in space defense. In recent months, you've heard the president and I talk a lot about defense and international norms and rules. Rules and norms are shared principles that guide the behavior of people and communities. They enable a common understanding of what is right, what is wrong and what is acceptable."

"As we saw in Ukraine, Russia completely violated the set of international rules and norms established after World War II that provided unprecedented peace and security in Europe. In the face of Russian brutality, the world came together to say that these roles and these rules and norms must be preserved. I'm glad to see such a strong statement about their importance."

"At the same time, our administration is working to establish new rules and norms for the new challenges of the 21st century — areas such as emerging technologies, cyber security and, of course, space."

“In December, I convened the first National Space Council meeting under our administration. As the chairman of the council, I emphasized this issue. I believe that without clear norms, we face unnecessary risks in space. The United States will continue to be a leader in establishing, promoting and demonstrating norms for the responsible and peaceful use of outer space. I met with leaders from around the world — countries like Singapore and France, Bahrain and India — and I raised this issue."

"Today, we are taking a significant step forward in this effort — a step that specifically addresses the problem of destructive missile tests in space, such as the one Russia carried out in November. This is a missile launched by Russia that destroyed a satellite in space - a destructive test of direct-launched anti-satellite missiles. In 2007, China conducted a similar experiment. These experiments are part of their efforts to develop anti-satellite weapon systems. These weapons are designed to prevent the US from using our space capabilities by destroying our satellites - satellites that are critical to our national security."

"Such experiments are reckless, and they are irresponsible and they endanger human activity in space. When China and Russia destroyed their satellites, they created thousands of pieces of debris—debris that has now surrounded our planet for years, if not decades. I just received a briefing from the US 18th Space Defense Squadron whose personnel have identified more than 1,600 pieces of debris from the Russian test. More than 2,800 pieces of debris from China's test 15 years ago are still in orbit. The squadron follows the debris and the satellites to avoid collisions. This debris poses a risk to the safety of our astronauts, our satellites, and our growing commercial presence.”

A piece of space debris the size of a basketball, traveling at a speed of thousands of kilometers per hour, will destroy a satellite. Even a small piece of debris like a grain of sand can cause serious damage, Harris explains. "We have consistently condemned these experiments and called them reckless, but that is not enough. Today we go further. I am happy to announce that as of today, the United States undertakes not to conduct destructive tests of direct-launched anti-satellite missiles. Simply put: these experiments are dangerous, and we will not conduct them."

Multinational agreement

Harris added: "We are the first nation to commit to this. And today, on behalf of the United States of America, I call on all countries to join us. Whether a nation has space capabilities or not, we believe it will benefit everyone, just as space benefits everyone. In the coming days and months, we will work with other countries to establish this as a new international norm for responsible behavior in space.”

"There is a direct connection between such a norm and the daily life of the American people. If a satellite is put out of service due to a collision with space debris it can affect the daily weather forecast, GPS driving directions, and even reception of your favorite TV station. Critical infrastructure, like the wind turbines that power our homes rely on satellites for connectivity.”

"Satellites help us monitor the climate crisis. They enable our commercial activity. And they help us protect our soldiers and our people. All of this is threatened by the fractures created by these reckless experiments.”

"These experiments also threaten the lives of astronauts on the International Space Station. I spoke earlier this month with Mark Wanda who returned from 355 days in space on the space station (an American record). While he was in space, Russia conducted the anti-satellite missile test. He had to take shelter in an escape capsule in case the space station was hit by the debris. The Russian action posed a threat not only to his life, but also to those of the Russian cosmonauts." 

"Our commitment today is just one step. Our administration has already begun to establish a broader and more comprehensive set of norms. One example is the Artemis Agreements - a set of principles that will guide the civilian use of space. They are designed to create a safe and transparent environment for space exploration, science and commercial activities. Since our administration took office, we have doubled the number of countries that have signed the treaty to 18."

"As we move forward, we will remain focused on writing new rules of space traffic to ensure that all space activities are conducted in a responsible, peaceful and sustainable manner. The United States is obligated to lead the way and to lead by personal example. America's leadership in space will continue to be a source of strength for us, both at home and abroad. And our administration, with the help of all of you here at this base, will ensure that future generations benefit from space just as much as we do today."

More of the topic in Hayadan:

One response

  1. In 2004 a progressive state comptroller in the United States halted the development of all hypersonic weapons. 2022 China is in generation C hypersonic weapons and with a hypersonic missile defense system and the United States is developing generation A and two successful tests. Not to mention quantities. 4 missiles shoot down an aircraft carrier.
    In 2022, Kamala Harris stops developing anti-satellite weapons.
    In 2022, the Congress or the Senate stopped the flow of 5.4 billion dollars to a private company engaged in the development of hypersonic weapons on the basis of corporate law.
    When Roosevelt entered World War II and needed 10000 tanks, 5000 ships, 10000 planes, he was a member
    To the American oligarchs in close cooperation. He was in the Democratic Party.
    We are witnessing articles like in the Haaretz newspaper, how the United States did not ask for forgiveness from the blacks, the Hispanics, the LGBTs, the victims of sexual assaults. The dose determines. I'm not saying it shouldn't be discussed, it's important. As soon as you deal only with this and apply progressive democratic rules in the fight against leading undemocratic forces - you have no right to exist as a country.
    The great enemy is outside and the Americans are acting like a sinking country. It is said in our sources that he who has mercy on the cruel is cruel to the merciful. This is exactly how the Americans are doing now that the Chinese are getting stronger and stronger.
    Does Pamela Harris believe anyone will listen to this bullshit. The Chinese have advanced anti-satellite weapons.
    The departure of the Afghan people, the destruction happening in Ukraine, and the departure of the Middle East - this is a sharp change in the policy of the United States.

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.

Skip to content