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US will push other nations to abandon destructive anti-satellite tests, VP Harris says

Space debris generated by the Russian anti-satellite missile test in November 2021.

Space debris generated by the Russian anti-satellite missile test in November 2021.(Image credit: Hugh Lewis/University of Southampton)

AMERICA will soon ask other nations to check out its lead and abandon destructive, debris-spawning anti-satellite testing, Vice President Kamala Harris said.

Harris made that pledge for the U.S. five months ago, and she announced a coming and concerted international push on Friday (Sept. 9) throughout a meeting of the National Space Council (NSC) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

“This April, I announced our nation wouldn’t normally conduct destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing,” said Harris, who chairs the NSC. “And later this month, america will introduce an answer at the US General Assembly to ask other nations to help make the same commitment.”

Related: Probably the most dangerous space weapons ever

The NSC helps shape American space policy. Your body comprises of several dozen high-ranking government officials, like the vice president, the NASA administrator and the secretaries of defense and state.

Assistant Secretary of State Monica Medina represented her department at Friday’s meeting, that was the next chaired by Harris. Medina pledged that State works hard to create other nations aboard on the anti-satellite test pledge through the U.N. General Assembly, which occurs from Sept. 13 to Sept. 27 in NEW YORK (opens in new tab).

“In the coming weeks, Assistant Secretary Stewart and her team could have extensive consultations at the U.N.,” Medina said, discussing Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Mallory Stewart. “Our goal is that resolution is adopted with the broadest possible support.”

Direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) tests, designed to use missiles to destroy dead or dying satellites, can generate large clouds of space junk that produce Earth orbit a far more dangerous place for other spacecraft to inhabit. Russia spawned one particular cloud with a widely condemned November 2021 ASAT test; that new debris field has forced the International Space Station to create evasive maneuvers on multiple occasions.

The ASAT discussion was section of a more substantial conversation at the NSC meeting about responsible space behavior. Harris along with other meeting participants, including Medina, stressed the significance of establishing such behavioral norms within an increasingly crowded and competitive space environment and that america should set a good example for other nations to check out.

That has been also a style at the first NSC meeting that Harris chaired, which occurred last December in Washington, D.C. Harris highlighted two other big topics finally year’s gathering: boosting American technological competitiveness by buying STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and using satellites to monitor and help mitigate climate change.

NSC members provided progress updates in these areas during Friday’s meeting. For instance, NASA Administrator Bill Nelson discussed the agency’s Earth System Observatory program, that will work with a new suite of satellites to review our planet in many ways.

During Friday’s gathering, Harris also announced an idea to open three STEM training pilot programs, one each in Florida, the Gulf Coast and Southern California. At each site, commercial space companies including Blue Origin, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman and SpaceX, amongst others will partner with community colleges, technical schools and trade unions to teach another generation of workers in the area field, from engineers to welders, machinists and electricians.

Mike Wall may be the writer of “ON THE MARKET (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book concerning the seek out alien life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) or on Facebook (opens in new tab).

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Michael Wall is really a Senior Space Writer (opens in new tab)and joined the team in 2010.He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been recognized to dabble in the area art beat.His book concerning the seek out alien life, “ON THE MARKET,” was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before learning to be a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He’s got a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor’s degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To discover what his latest project is, it is possible to follow Michael on Twitter.

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