UN passes resolution to curb space debris from anti-satellite missile tests

The United Nations Normal Meeting handed a decision in the present day asking international locations to not conduct direct-ascent anti-satellite checks (ASAT) that create house junk. The US spearheaded the measure after the Worldwide Area Station (ISS) had an in depth name final yr with greater than 1,500 items of particles from a Russian ASAT.

The measure doesn’t ban the event or testing of ASAT methods, nevertheless it discourages conducting them in a approach that creates house particles. Though because it got here from the UN Normal Meeting and never the Safety Council, it isn’t legally binding.

Along with creating navigational hazards for astronauts, house junk additionally displays daylight to Earth’s floor, interfering with ground-based telescopes. Furthermore, researchers count on orbital particles to extend by magnitudes over the following decade as internet-broadcasting mini-satellites, like SpaceX’s Starlink, develop in reputation.

Vice President Kamala Harris, who chairs the White Home Nationwide Area Council, tweeted reward in the present day for the passage. “Again in April, I introduced the USA is not going to conduct damaging direct-ascent anti-satellite missile checks, and I referred to as on different nations to hitch us. Right now, 155 international locations voted in favor of a UN decision, serving to set up this as a world norm for house.”

Of the 4 international locations which have carried out ASATs — United States, China, India and Russia — solely the US voted in favor in the present day. Along with Russia and China, nations voting no included Belarus, Bolivia, the Central African Republic, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua and Syria. 9 extra nations abstained: India, Lao Folks’s Democratic Republic, Madagascar, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe.

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