Why Cooperation Is Still Possible in a More Militarized Space

American astronaut Christopher Cassidy, left, and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner appear before their trip to the International Space Station, in Star City, Russia, March 12, 2020 (AP photo by Pavel Golovkin).
American astronaut Christopher Cassidy, left, and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner appear before their trip to the International Space Station, in Star City, Russia, March 12, 2020 (AP photo by Pavel Golovkin).
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In mid-July, a Russian satellite moved uncommonly close to a U.S. government satellite in low-Earth orbit, before quickly rendezvousing with another Russian satellite nearby. The Kremlin initially insisted that this satellite was part of a routine program to monitor its own assets in space. But a week later, U.S. Space Command, which oversees American military operations in space, deemed Russia’s maneuver a non-destructive test of an anti-satellite weapon—a sophisticated counterspace tool that could threaten U.S. space assets and national security. U.S. officials had raised similar concerns twice before, earlier this year and in 2018, about abnormal Russian satellite behavior in […]

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