The Impact of the Russian ASAT Tests

In this bonus episode of Space to Grow, hosts Charity Weeden and Chris Blackerby  sit down to discuss kinetic ASAT tests in space and possible silver-linings that came from the most recent test.

The November 2021 Russian ASAT (Anti-Satellite) test shed unprecedented light onto the space community and is estimated to have produced almost 1700 pieces of debris in the 600km range, close to Earth, which was spread throughout other orbital regimes.

Not only did this test launch international attention on debris in space, but it reaffirmed uncertainty in operating in space for many private and public space entities. Space debris, or space “junk” as it is commonly referred to, can range from outdated satellites, to tiny fragments of broken up objects, similar to what the Russian ASAT test created.

The junk clogs up orbital pathways and can cause unforeseen structural damage to orbiting or launching objects. As such, many companies, including Astroscale have condemned ASAT tests in the industry as irresponsible behavior.

While space debris continues to orbit, Blackerby highlighted some silver-linings on the situation, “It’s awareness…when do we see the non-space media and community get in…We had recognition by politicians around the world that this was bad.”

Though not catastrophic in the near-term, the test created so much debris that the resulting awareness in the international community can be viewed as a positive aspect, but not one that the space industry wants to repeat as a normative action.

On ASAT tests, Weeden was firm that we can not allow this activity to, “live in the space environment.” Space actors can not continue doing these tests and apologizing as if they do not have any future, long-term consequences.

“I’m hopeful this will galvanize some sort of ASAT ban,” said Weeden. Given the international attention, the need to get rid of space trash is front and center and a ban on ASAT tests will help keep space accessible to all.

More in This Series

This Season’s Mission Will Be Making Space Relatable

To Create a Private Market Do Governments Need To Kickstart Space Programs?

Follow us on social media for the latest updates in B2B!



sustainability impact report
A Look Into MG2’s Sustainability Impact Report
April 22, 2024

When businesses invest in building strategies around a sustainability impact report, it’s a win-win for the environment, the company, and the community the business serves. The architecture and design industries face renewed pressure to innovate sustainably in an era marked by rapid environmental shifts and an escalating climate crisis. As businesses and individuals become […]

Read More
Oosto CEO, Avi Golan, on facial recognition technology
Facilities Housing Vulnerable Populations can Utilize Facial Recognition Technology to Detect and Locate
April 19, 2024

As technology demands evolve and see changes, the area of facial recognition technology can be of great use for vulnerable populations. As it stands, the integration of facial recognition technology and behavior analytics can enhance the safety and operational efficiency in sensitive environments like assisted living facilities.  Avi Golan, CEO at Oosto, and Dieter […]

Read More
Women's empowerment
Seizing the Narrative: The Transformative Impact of Storytelling on Women’s Empowerment
April 19, 2024

With gender equality becoming a significant global agenda, the narrative around women’s empowerment is more relevant than ever. Amid rising awareness and shifting societal norms, women are increasingly seeking avenues for self-expression and empowerment. A recent study by the Global Gender Gap Report highlights that while progress is being made, substantial efforts are still […]

Read More
V2G technology
Plug into the Future: Decoding V2G for Utility Applications
April 19, 2024

Brian Rudy from Verizon IoT and Melissa Chan of Fermata Energy explore the cutting-edge potential of vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology at DISTRIBUTECH 2024. Their discussion highlights how this innovation transforms electric vehicles into dynamic energy storage units, capable of stabilizing the grid by storing and discharging power as needed. This technology represents a significant shift […]

Read More