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US bans anti-satellite weapon tests, seeks global agreement

The United States government has committed to ending the practice of anti-satellite missile tests, Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Monday at Vandenberg Space Force Base. She also urged other nations to follow its lead.

On Nov. 15, 2021, the Russian military destroyed a defunct satellite with its anti-satellite technology (ASAT), a test it followed with verbal threats to the U.S. GPS.

The Russian test created thousands of pieces of debris in low Earth orbit, and sent astronauts on the International Space Station into shelter as it passed through the debris field.

According to CNBC, the U.S., Russia, China and India have all destroyed their own satellites in ASAT tests. The U.S. last destroyed a satellite in 2008, with the U.S. Navy launching a modified SM-3 missile that intercepted the malfunctioning National Reconnaissance Office satellite USA-193.

Image: janiecbros/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Image: janiecbros/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

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