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Hours of tension on the International Space Station: astronauts take refuge in their capsules

Moscow destroyed one of its satellites with a rocket, putting the base at risk.

The US State Department on Monday accused Russia of having acted “dangerous and irresponsible” with a military test with an anti-satellite missile that put “at risk” to astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) for generated space debris.

The more than a thousand remains that have been identified will pose a danger to all human activity in space for years.

This was indicated by the spokesman for the State Department, Ned Price, in a press conference in which confirmed the military test by Moscow in which it destroyed one of its satellites.

“The dangerous and irresponsible behavior of Russia endangers the security of outer space and clearly demonstrates that Russia’s statements against the use of weapons in space are false and hypocritical,” the US official said.

Price assured that the explosion of the Russian satellite has generated more than “1,500 identifiable space debris” and hundreds of thousands smaller in size. “This test significantly increases the risk for ISS astronauts and cosmonauts, as well as other human space activities,” he said.

Locked up astronauts

Currently, There are seven astronauts on the ISS, Americans Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Thomas Marshburn and Kayla Barron; along with Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov, and German Matthias Maurer from the European Space Agency.

ISS astronauts pose during a training session. Photo: Reuters

After the test, they were ordered to take refuge in their capsules docked to the spaceship during two hours as a precaution and in case you had to make a quick getaway.

The research laboratory, which orbits about 402 kilometers on Earth, continued passing through and near the pile of debris every 90 minutes, but NASA specialists determined that it was safe for the crew to return inside the station after the third round, according to the space agency.

“NASA will continue to monitor the debris in the coming days to ensure the safety of our crew in orbit,” NASA chief Bill Nelson said in the statement.

The Gulf of Mexico and a hurricane captured from the ISS in August.  Photo: EFE

The Gulf of Mexico and a hurricane captured from the ISS in August. Photo: EFE

Experts say weapons tests that destroy satellites in space pose a danger when creating shard clouds They can collide with other objects, setting off a chain reaction of projectiles through Earth’s orbit.

What russia says

Although neither the government nor the Russian army have spoken about it. A message posted on Twitter by the Russian space agency Roscosmos minimized the danger.

“The orbit of the object, which forced the crew to move towards the spacecraft according to standard procedures, has moved away from the orbit of the ISS,” Roscosmos tweeted. “The station is in the green zone.”

Astronauts during a drill on the ISS.  Photo: AFP

Astronauts during a drill on the ISS. Photo: AFP

The space station, which spans the size of a soccer field end-to-end American, has been continuously busy since November 2000, operated by an international association of five space agencies from 15 countries, including Russia’s Roscosmos.

Russia is not the first country to conduct antisatellite tests in space. The United States conducted the first in 1959. In April, Russia conducted another test of an anti-satellite missile. Space will become more and more an important domain for war. In 2019, India shot down one of its own low-Earth orbit satellites with a surface-to-space missile.

The military test, not reported by Russia, occurs at a time of growing tensions between Moscow and Washington due to the concentration of Russian troops on the border with Ukraine, where according to the Ukrainian government there are close 90,000 Russian soldiers.

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