Africa-Press – Rwanda. WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – A bipartisan group of US Senators on Tuesday urged the Biden administration to strengthen responses to incidents in space in wake of Russia’s recent anti-satellite test.
“The space domain is essential for the United States’ modern economy. From fostering scientific discovery and planetary exploration to facilitating next-generation communications and the Global Positioning System (GPS), these scientific, technological, and national security benefits must be protected,” the Senators wrote in a letter to Vice President Kamala Harris. “We request that you advocate for aligning space sustainability priorities and activities across the federal Government and work to develop international dialogue on norms of responsible behavior in space.”
Harris chairs the National Space Council and will convene the entity’s first meeting on Wednesday.
In a separate letter to US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, the lawmakers urged her to appoint a director and enhance the technical capabilities of the Office of Space Commerce, which is responsible for creating a space traffic management pilot program and repository with information on space objects, including debris.
The letter was signed by Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell, Chair of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation; Republican Senator Roger Wicker; Democratic Senator John Hickenlooper, Chair of the Senate Space and Science Subcommittee and Republican Senator Cynthia Lummis.
Earlier in November, Russia successfully conducted an anti-satellite weapon system test by destroying the old Russian spacecraft Celina-D. Debris of the destroyed spacecraft was reported to pose a danger to the International Space Station (ISS), but the Russian Ministry of Defense noted that the ISS was 40-60 kilometers higher than Celina-D and said there is no threat to the space station.