Spatial tensions. The Russian space agency Roscosmos assured Tuesday that “the safety of the crew” of the International Space Station was its “main priority”. A statement that comes after Washington accused him the day before of having carried out an anti-satellite missile test that endangered the seven people currently on board the ISS .
According to the United States, the astronauts had to take refuge in their vessels, moored at the station, in order to prepare for a possible emergency evacuation. “I am scandalized by this irresponsible and destabilizing action,” the head of the US space agency, Bill Nelson, said in a statement.
Space: future global battlefield?
The Russian agency had not yet responded directly Tuesday morning to these serious American accusations which revive fears of seeing space turn into a battlefield between the great powers. According to the Russian state agency TASS, NASA officials are scheduled to meet in the morning with Roscosmos chief Dmitry Rogozin. “Only joint efforts of all space powers will be able to ensure as secure a coexistence as possible and operations in the space domain,” Roscosmos said in a statement.
The alleged shooting on Monday generated a quantity of debris threatening the thousands of other satellites in orbit, on which countries rely for many activities, for example communication or localization. Destroying satellites in other countries or carrying out offensives from space can prove to be strategic military assets , but the development of such capabilities risks creating an arms race with unforeseeable consequences.
Anti-satellite test shots had so far only been carried out by the United States, China and India, while Moscow constantly proclaimed loud and clear that it was fighting any attempt to militarize space.