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NASA Administrator Statement on White House ASAT Announcement

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
April 19, 2022
Filed under , , , , ,
Bill Nelson

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released this statement Tuesday following Vice President Kamala Harris’ announcement the U.S. will not conduct destructive anti-satellite missile testing (ASAT):

“Fifteen years ago, China’s military littered outer space with thousands of pieces of debris from a reckless ASAT missile test. Just a few months ago, another destructive ASAT test by the Russian military threatened U.S. and European astronauts, Russian cosmonauts, and Chinese taikonauts in space, as well as scientific and commercial on-orbit assets.

“There is no doubt that human spaceflight and the future of the space environment are incompatible with destructive direct-ascent ASAT missile tests. Vice President Harris and the Biden Administration’s leadership to address these threats and reduce risk is an important step forward to foster a safe, sustainable space environment – now and into the future. I encourage the world to join us in making this important commitment.”

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2 responses to “NASA Administrator Statement on White House ASAT Announcement”

  1. Emmet Ford says:

    In his list of complaints, Nelson neglected to mention the Indian ASAT test in 2019.

    Both the US and Soviet Union started ASAT programs in the 1950s, and both eventually blasted LEO satellites.

    My favorite was Starfish Prime in 1962, which wasn’t actually an ASAT test but did destroy many satellites.


    One early test of electronic space warfare, the so-called Starfish Prime test, took place in 1962, when the United States exploded a ground-launched nuclear weapon in space to test the effects of an electromagnetic pulse. The result was a deactivation of many then-orbiting satellites, both American and Soviet.

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