"The ban comes as concern remains that Russia will take a shot at US satellite systems to reverse its losses in Ukraine..."
Vice President Kamala Harris, who is supposed to be overseeing Space Command, has unilaterally announced a cessation of US anti-satellite missile tests.
“Simply put, these tests are dangerous, and we will not conduct them,” Harris said during remarks at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.
The ban comes as concern remains that Russia will take a shot at US satellite systems in order to try to reverse its losses so far in Ukraine, which has relied on US intelligence gleaned from satellite reports.
In November, Russia conducted an anti-satellite missile test which created a debris field of at least 1,500 pieces, an event denounced by the US.
A collective threat requires a collective solution and a unilateral test ban does not resolve the problem posed by anti-satellite weapons https://t.co/CSE1RHeUo9— David Eagleson (@david_eagleson) April 19, 2022
“Russia’s dangerous and irresponsible behavior jeopardizes the long-term sustainability of outer space and clearly demonstrates that Russia’s claims of opposing the weaponization of space are disingenuous and hypocritical,” said State Department spokesperson Ned Price, according to Air Force Magazine.
Since then, liberals in academia and elsewhere have been calling for an anti-satellite test ban worldwide, which the United Nations gladly virtue-signaled on, conducting a survey of countries about what they saw as the biggest threat in space, said Scientific American as it called for a US anti-satellite test ban.
Currently, it’s believed that only the US, China, Russia and India have the ability to use anti-satellite missile technology to reach the orbital height necessary to destroy a satellite.
Republicans, however, are balking at a US unilateral ban without Russian and Chinese cooperation.
The White House briefed lawmakers previously about the proposed ban.
“Republicans are skeptical of a unilateral test ban that Russia and China are unlikely to sign on to, a GOP congressional aide said,” according to NBC News, without identifying specific legislators who might have objections.
In a statement the White House justified their ban, using the virtue signaling keywords “security” and “sustainability”.
“This commitment addresses one of the most pressing threats to the security and sustainability of space, as demonstrated by Russia’s November 2021 destructive direct ascent ASAT missile test. The People’s Republic of China conducted a similar test in 2007,” said the White House statement.