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Why It's Time To Work Towards a Global Ban on Destructive Antisatellite Testing

14 Jan 2022, 00:00 UTC
Why It's Time To Work Towards a Global Ban on Destructive Antisatellite Testing
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SWF Washington Office Director Ms. Victoria Samson and Director of Program Planning Dr. Brian Weeden have published a new article in Scientific American arguing that it is past time for the global community to put an end to destructive antisatellite testing. They cite the orbital debris created by the November 2021 Russian ASAT test as only the most recent example of why such tests create unnecessary risks for all space actors, including human spaceflight activities. Ms. Samson and Dr. Weeden call on the countries that have tested ASAT weapons - China, India, Russia, and the United States - to declare moratoriums on future testing and work with the international community to create a legally-binding prohibition on future testing. They also note that getting to this goal will not be easy, and will require creating a common lexicon, better understanding why countries want to test such weapons, and developing a framework for verification of any future agreement.

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