British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace criticized Russia’s reported test of an anti-satellite missile, saying it demonstrates a complete disregard for safety and stability in space as the debris from the tests could put space activities at risk.

“This destructive anti-satellite missile test by Russia shows a complete disregard for the security, safety and sustainability of space. The debris resulting from this test will remain in orbit putting satellites and human spaceflight at risk for years to come,” the UK Defense Ministry on Twitter quotes Wallace as saying.

On Monday, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price alleged that Russia “recklessly conducted a destructive satellite test” of direct ascent and anti-satellite missile against one of its own satellites. The test had generated over 1,500 pieces of trackable orbital debris that allegedly threatened the interests of all nations, the statement said.

The US State Department condemned Russia that the test would significantly increase the risk to astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS), as well as to other human spaceflight activities. The statement also said that Russia`s allegedly dangerous and irresponsible behavior jeopardized the long term sustainability of outer space and clearly demonstrated that Russia’s claims of opposing the space weaponization were disingenuous. The spokesman concluded that the US would work with its allies to respond to Russia’s “irresponsible act.”

In December 2020, the US Space Command announced that Russia had conducted a new test of a rocket aimed at destroying satellites. After that, tests of the Russian anti-satellite missile were reported in April. The Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, said back then that Washington was trying to justify its own plans to deploy weapons in space this way.

At the same time, similar weapons are being developed both in the US and in other countries. In 1985, the US using an ASM-135 ASAT anti-satellite missile launched from an F-15 fighter aircraft, shot down its Solwind scientific satellite at an altitude of 1,820,866 feet. In 2008, an American SM-3 naval anti-missile destroyed the USA-193 military satellite at an altitude of 810,367 feet. (ANI/Sputnik)