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U.S. Space Command says Russia tested space-based anti-satellite weapon

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Posted at 7:50 AM, Jul 23, 2020

COLORADO SPRINGS — U.S. Space Command announced Thursday it has evidence that Russia tested a "non-destructive" space-based anti-satellite weapon on July 15, according to a release.

This weapon test was conducted near another Russian satellite, "which is similar to on-orbit activity conducted by Russia in 2017, and inconsistent with the system's stated mission as an inspector satellite."

"The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite," Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, Commander of U.S. Space Command and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, said in the release.

Space Command tracked an anti-satellite missile test Russia conducted on April 15.

"This is further evidence of Russia's continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin's published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk," Raymond continued.

Space Command officials said these tests are threats to the U.S. that are "real, serious and increasing." According to the release, the U.S. State Department raised concerns in 2018 and earlier this year as Russia continued testing satellites that were inconsistent with their stated mission.

To learn more about Space Command, see this story from News5's Bill Folsom - Space Command: A worldwide network centered in Colorado Springs.

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