News Russia denies endangering International Space Station astronauts

Russia denies endangering International Space Station astronauts

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The head of Russia’s space agency says the crew of the International Space Station was not put in danger by the decision to shoot down an out-of-service satellite.

Space debris from the explosion was carefully observed and the crew was at no point in danger, Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin said in an interview posted on YouTube.

“We exchange this information with the Defence Ministry in order to protect the ISS from unpleasant adventures,” he said.

The seven current occupants of the ISS were instructed to enter docked spacecraft for their own safety on Monday, allowing them a rapid return to earth should anything go wrong with the satellite downing.

Russia came under fire from the international community when it confirmed on Tuesday that it had fired an anti-satellite missile at its Zelina-D satellite, which has been orbiting the earth since 1982.

Those condemning the action called the move reckless.

“Anti-satellite weapons have been developed in Russia for a long time, that is no secret,” said Mr Rogozin, adding that it was now time to test the weapons, which he argued were necessary for Russia due to US satellite surveillance.