On July 15, the Russian Defense Ministry announced that a small spacecraft had been spotted near a satellite of their own and was “using special equipment.” However, the United States stated on July 23 that that vehicle had a different mission.
General John W. Raymond, commander of Space Command and U.S. Space Force “The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year when Russia maneuvered near a US government satellite” said. The General also said, “This is further evidence of Russia’s continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin’s published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold US and allied space assets at risk.”
Raymond finally said, ” the United States, with the cooperation of our allies, is ready and determined to prevent the interests of the United States and its allies and hostile actions in space, to deter aggression.”
The US accuses Russia and China of arming space. Harvey Smyth, deputy chief of the UK’s space Directorate, has criticized the recent Russian satellite test, via his Twitter account.
— Ministry of Defence 🇬🇧 (@DefenceHQ) July 23, 2020
“Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk”
The head of the UK’s Space Directorate, Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth, said, “We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon. Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space and risk causing debris that could pose a threat to satellites and the space systems on which the world depends. We call on Russia to avoid any further such testing. We also urge Russia to continue to work constructively with the UK and other partners to encourage responsible behavior in space.”
“This event highlights Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control, with which Moscow aims to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting its own counter space program — both ground-based anti-satellite capabilities and what would appear to be actual in-orbit anti-satellite weaponry,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Dr. Christopher Ford. The test last week was a real, serious and rising threat to the space systems of the United States and its allies.