Elon Musk chimes in on the space debris controversy caused by Russia

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has commented on the controversy surrounding a recent Russian anti-satellite missile that caused space debris.

1 minute & 37 seconds read time

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has chimed in on the recent controversy surrounding space debris caused by a Russian anti-satellite missile test.

Elon Musk chimes in on the space debris controversy caused by Russia 01

On November 15, Russia tested an anti-satellite missile on one of its own satellites, which caused thousands of new space debris to emerge in Earth's orbit. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) can be heard being told by NASA Headquarters to prepare to launch back down to Earth and take shelter in spaceships such as SpaceX's Crew Dragon. NASA condemned the actions by Russia, to which the country responded by defending its actions with the minister-general Sergei Shoigu saying that the debris "don't pose any threat to space activities."

Currently, 1,500 pieces of space debris are being tracked. However, they all haven't been found and may take some time to be found. Astronomer Jonathan McDowell, who tracks satellites and debris objects, spoke to Insider and said, "If [a satellite] gets hit by one of the bigger pieces of debris... it could completely destroy the satellite into thousands of more pieces. You could see debris hitting the satellites, causing more debris that then hits more satellites."

Now, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has commented on the matter, saying that SpaceX had to shift some of the orbits of its Starlink satellites to reduce the probability of any of the debris causing a collision.

"We had to shift some Starlink satellite orbits to reduce probability of collision. Not great, but not terrible either. Station & Dragon have micrometeorite shields (ultra high velocity impact absorption), but EVA suits do not, hence higher risk for spacewalk," wrote Musk.

McDowell also said, "If it's not in the catalog, SpaceX doesn't know it's there. And so they can't dodge."

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Jak joined the TweakTown team in 2017 and has since reviewed 100s of new tech products and kept us informed daily on the latest science, space, and artificial intelligence news. Jak's love for science, space, and technology, and, more specifically, PC gaming, began at 10 years old. It was the day his dad showed him how to play Age of Empires on an old Compaq PC. Ever since that day, Jak fell in love with games and the progression of the technology industry in all its forms. Instead of typical FPS, Jak holds a very special spot in his heart for RTS games.

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