The British Want to Clean Up Outer Space
April 16, 2021
December 3, 2021
The Pentagon called for a global halt to anti-satellite weapons testing on Wednesday, further decrying the practice after Russia’s destructive demonstration last month showered low Earth orbit with debris.“We would like to see all nations agree to refrain from anti-satellite weapons testing that creates debris,” U.S. Department of Defense deputy secretary Kathleen Hicks said at a meeting of the National Space Council.
The test drew widespread condemnation from U.S. officials, which Russian officials responded by calling “hypocritical” given past American military tests in space. To date, four countries – the U.S., Russia, China, and India – have previously destroyed their own satellites in ASAT tests.
But Hicks’ comments mark the most direct call to action since the Russian demonstration. “Such a display of deliberate disregard for safety, security and sustainability in space is one to be condemned and underscores the urgency of acting in defence of developing shared norms and having long-term sustainability of outer space,” Hicks said.
She spoke during a panel of the first National Space Council of President Joe Biden’s administration, which Vice President Kamala Harris is chairing. Like Hicks, Harris called out the ASAT test as “irresponsible.”
State Department deputy secretary Wendy Sherman added during Wednesday’s council meeting that the United Nations is creating a process to establish “national security space norms of behavior.”
June 18, 2021
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