makes pledge over satellite killers


VP Kamala Harris Announces Policy Change for Anti-Satellite Missiles During Visit to Space Force

The US will not test satellite killer missiles and is urging all other countries to make the same commitment, Vice President Kamala Harris has announced after meeting officials from the Space Force and Space Command in California. However, the head of the Russian space agency was skeptical.

“I am pleased to announce that, effective today, the United States pledges not to conduct destructive tests of direct-off anti-satellite missiles. Simply put, these tests are dangerous and we will not run them.” That’s what Harris said Monday night.

“If a satellite was knocked out by debris, it could affect daily weather forecasts, GPS directions, and even your favorite television station,” Harris added. “These tests also threaten the lives of astronauts on the International Space Station.”

“We are the first country to make such a commitment and today, on behalf of the United States of America, I am calling on all countries to join us, whether a country is in space travel or not,” she told reporters at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California, after meeting officials from the US Space Force and Space Command.

Harris also pledged that the US will “work with other countries to establish this as a new international standard for responsible behavior in space,” presumably in reference to the forthcoming United Nations Open-Ended Working Group on Mitigating Space Threats , scheduled for May 9 in Geneva. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden oversaw the Easter egg roll at the White House.

Anti-satellite weapons (AST) are usually missiles launched from Earth or a plane at high altitude to blow up a satellite. The most recent test of such a weapon was conducted by Russia in November 2021, when a defunct Soviet satellite Cosmos 1408 was destroyed by a ground-launched missile.

Harris referred to both that incident and China’s 2007 anti-satellite missile. However, a year later, the US used a ship-launched missile to destroy one of its own spy satellites over the Pacific Ocean.

Moscow and Beijing have previously urged the US to sign an international treaty banning the placement of weapons in space, but Washington has so far refused.

Harris’s comments probably mean the US has already done that “a series of anti-satellite weapons tests completed and commissioned by the US space force”, Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, speculated on his Telegram channel on Tuesday.

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