Pentagon confirms the takedown of US satellite

Officially was the aim of operation to hit the defunct satellite to prevent its toxic fuel tank from crashing to Earth. But Russia and China have expressed some concern about the action.


1. Do you think protests from China and Russia are justified? Was it the main reason for the decision to takedown a dangerous satellite or to test some new technology or it was in fact win-win situation for Pentagon?

2. China has destroyed a weather satellite in 2007 in the low orbit, now this US action. Could we expect some steps toward the militarization of space?

3. Even if the reason for the action was to test some technology don’t you think it is better to be able to shoot down satellite? Because we have  lot of “crap” in the orbit and perhaps  sometimes we will need to shoot down something really dangerous.


Ray Williamson, Executive Director of Secure World Foundation, former Research Professor in the Space Policy Institute, The George Washington University

1. I believe that Russia and China are quite right to be suspicious about the U.S. Asat test. It is afterall a test of a missile capability that is already raising concerns around the world about an escalation of space weapons.

2. This test works against the effort to keep outer space free of destructive weapons.

3. This test does nothing for reducing the many pieces of space debris orbiting Earth. By promoting the use of space weapons, it increases the difficulties of maintaining the long term sustainability of outer space.

John Pike, Director of

1. I think the main goal was to pulverize the spacecraft to keep it out of the hands of the Russians or Chinese.

2. I think the two events are unrelated.

3. I don’t think this was the reason the technology had already been tested a dozen times.

Geoffrey Forden, Research Associate at the Science, Technology and Global Security Working Group, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1. If the hydrazine tank makes it to Earth, than there was a real (about 3.5%) chance of it hurting someone.  It is not clear that there was a real chance that tank would make it to Earth even if the satellite had not been shot down.

2. There is a real possibility that these two events, the Chinese anti-satellite test and the US satellite shoot-down, might increase the chances of the militarization of space.

3. I think that the odds of the tank of hydrazine doing anyone harm, even assuming that it made it down to Earth, were not great enough to warrant the increased danger of an arms race in space.

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