Friday, January 28, 2022

US seeks norms for outer space after “irresponsible” test by Russia

US Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday criticized the “irresponsible” Russian test that threatened the International Space Station with debris, and the Biden administration laid out a new strategy for responsible use of space.

Harris called the first meeting of the National Space Council and asked members of the government body to promote responsible civil, commercial and national security behavior in space, where there are growing commercial interests and concerns about competition between China and Russia.

“Without clear norms for the responsible use of space, we face a real risk of threats to our national and global security,” Harris said.

She said Russia’s “irresponsible act” to test anti-satellite technology last month created debris that threatened the International Space Station (ISS).

US officials are concerned about the growing activity of security forces from Washington’s main rivals in space. China’s testing of hypersonic weapons this year has opened up the prospect of an arms race for orbital systems capable of evading existing missile defenses.

Meanwhile, a growing number of companies, including SpaceX, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, are looking to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel after years of collaboration by private firms with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on rockets. Launches.

President Joe Biden also signed a decree on Wednesday adding the heads of education, labor, agriculture and home affairs, as well as his national climate adviser to the National Space Council.

The administration also wants the group’s work to focus on increasing space climate data and enhancing scientific efforts that can help create jobs and improve the competitiveness of the United States, it said in a statement.

The National Space Council is separate from the military unit of the US Space Force, created under former President Donald Trump.

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