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Russia launches anti-satellite missile

Russia launches anti-satellite missile
General John W. "Jay" Raymond, Commander, Air Force Space Command, listens as United States President Donald J. Trump establishes the US Space Command in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, DC in August 2019. On Wednesday Raymond criticized Russia for conducting anti-satellite missile tests. Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo

April 15 (UPI) -- U.S. Space Command said Wednesday that it is tracking what it characterizes as a "hypocritical" direct-ascent anti-satellite missile test conducted by Russia this week.

"Russia's DA-ASAT test provides yet another example that the threats to U.S. and allied space systems are real, serious and growing," said Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, USSPACECOM commander and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, in a statement from U.S. Space Force. "The United States is ready and committed to deterring aggression and defending the Nation, our allies and U.S. interests from hostile acts in space."

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Wednesday's test comes two months after the United States became aware that two Russian satellites were tailing a U.S. satellite at close range.

According to Space Force, Russia's missile system is capable of destroying satellites in low Earth orbit.

"This test is further proof of Russia's hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control proposals designed to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting their counterspace weapons programs," Raymond said. "Space is critical to all nations and our way of life. The demands on space systems continue in this time of crisis where global logistics, transportation and communication are key to defeating the COVID-19 pandemic."

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