Germany and Japan have agreed to refrain from conducting damaging anti-satellite tests that can result in hazardous orbital dust clouds, according to a report by Space.com.
Both of these commitments were announced at the UN’s open-ended working group on minimizing space risks’ second session, which is taking place in Geneva from Sept. 12 to Sept. 16.
This photograph taken on September 7, 2022, shows Arianespace’s Ariane 5 rocket with EUTELSAT Konnect VHTS (Very High Throughput Satellite) satellite onboard lifting up from the launchpad, at the Europes Spaceport, at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana. – The satellite should provide high-speed Internet access throughout Europe, particularly in isolated regions with poor coverage, offering a service comparable to fiber optic networks in terms of performance and costs, as with speed of 500 Gbps it is said to reduce the digital divide on the Old Continent and meet the broadband connectivity needs of fixed and mobile telecommunications networks on land, sea and air.
Lessening Hazards in Space
The working group’s meeting aims to consider strategies to lessen hazards in space by developing and upholding standards and guidelines for responsible conduct.
In response to Russia’s destruction of a satellite in November 2021, which resulted in a significant cloud of space debris, the United States, Canada, and New Zealand announced similar commitments. Germany and Japan have now followed suit.
On Monday, Sept. 12, Japan made the declaration at the UN working group, and on Tuesday, its Ministry of Foreign Affairs officially released a written statement.
The Japanese government declared that it “decided not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) missile testing in order to actively promote discussions in the international for concerning the development of norms of responsible behavior in outer space.”
Germany announced on Tuesday that it would also follow the same commitment. Germany’s declaration to the working group, published in full by the UN Office for Disarmament Affairs, declared that the country “commits not to conduct destructive, direct-ascent anti-satellite missile testing.”
VP Harris Reaffirms US Support
The National Space Council (NSC) met on Friday at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris reaffirmed that the country would push for stronger international cooperation on ending destructive anti-satellite tests, which can result in thousands of pieces of debris endangering other spacecraft.
The chance of other spacecraft entering Earth’s orbit increases due to the massive amount of space trash created by direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) tests that use missiles to destroy satellites that are already dead or are dying.
Russia created a cloud with its widely condemned ASAT test in November 2021, forcing the International Space Station to make numerous evasive maneuvers.
The United States, New Zealand, Germany, Japan, and Canada are the five countries that have so far vowed to refrain from conducting harmful direct-ascent anti-satellite tests.
Written by Joaquin Victor Tacla
Keyword: Germany and Japan Follow the US in Abandoning Destructive Anti-Satellite Tests>