Britain calls on Russia to behave responsibly in space after satellite test

A Soyuz-2.1b launch vehicle takes-off with another 34 OneWeb satellites from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 21, 2020. (File photo: AP)

Britain is concerned about a Russian satellite test which involved the launch of a projectile with the “characteristics of a weapon,” a British official said on Thursday, calling on Russia to behave responsibly in space.

Tensions between Britain and Russia have been high in recent weeks, as Britain has targeted Russians with new sanctions, accused Russian actors of trying to meddle in last year’s election and said it has tried to hack into vaccine research.

On Thursday, the head of the UK’s Space Directorate Harvey Smith criticized Russian conduct in space.

“We are concerned by the manner in which Russia tested one of its satellites by launching a projectile with the characteristics of a weapon,” he said in a statement.

“Actions of this kind threaten the peaceful use of space... we call on Russia to avoid any further such testing.”

The Russian Defense ministry tested a new satellite, which performed checks on Russian space equipment, on July 15.

“During testing of the latest space technology, one of the domestic satellites was examined close up using the specialized equipment of small space craft,” the Interfax news agency cited the Ministry of defense as saying at the time.

“As a result, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has received valuable information about the technical condition of the object under investigation and sent it to ground control facilities.”

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Last Update: Thursday, 23 July 2020 KSA 22:05 - GMT 19:05
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