Germany and Japan have pledged not to conduct destructive experiments against satellites that could create dangerous clouds of space debris in orbit.
These pledges were announced at the second session of the United Nations Open-ended Working Group on Reducing Space Threats, which is taking place in Geneva from September 12 to September 16. (Opens in a new tab) Meet to discuss ways to reduce threats in space by establishing and adhering to rules and principles of responsible behaviour.
Germany and Japan announcements follow similar pledges Made in the USAAnd the Canada (Opens in a new tab) And the New Zealand Following Russia’s irresponsible destruction of a satellite in November 2021, which resulted in the creation of a file Huge cloud of space debris.
Related: Russian anti-satellite missile test sparks condemnation from space companies and countries
Japan made the announcement in the UN Working Group on Monday (September 12), then published a newspaper Written statement (Opens in a new tab) Through the State Department on Tuesday (September 13). The statement declares that the Japanese government “has decided not to conduct destructive and direct anti-satellite missile tests (ASAT) in order to effectively promote discussions in the international community on the development of responsible conduct in outer space.”
“The Government of Japan will continue to play an active role in achieving a safe, stable and sustainable outer space, including establishing rules for responsible conduct in outer space,” the statement continued.
On Tuesday (September 13), Germany announced that it would stick to the same commitment. The United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs issued a A copy of Germany’s statement (Opens in a new tab) On Tuesday (September 13), Germany’s representative to the working group stated that the nation “is committed not to conduct destructive anti-satellite missile tests” and “calls on all countries to do the same and calls for the establishment of a global standard prohibiting such testing.”
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The statement added that “Germany fully supports the efforts made within the United Nations aimed at reducing threats and risks affecting space systems.” “Conflict and confrontation in space are not inevitable. However, there is an urgent need to develop and implement rules, rules and principles for responsible space behavior to prevent misunderstanding and the risk of escalation. Germany calls on all states to conduct space activities in a peaceful atmosphere, in a responsible and sustainable manner and to support and strengthen an international rules-based order for outer space.
US Vice President Kamala Harris reiterated Friday (September 9) during a meeting of the National Space Council (NSC) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston that the United States will Pushing for stronger international cooperation By abandoning devastating anti-satellite tests that could create thousands of pieces of debris that endanger other spacecraft.
These types of tests, known as direct-ascent anti-satellite tests (ASAT), involve launching missiles from the ground to destroy defunct satellites in orbit. Russia was widely condemned by the international space community for carrying out one of its most blatant operations in November 2021, causing a debris feud that forced the International Space Station (ISS) to have to. Perform a avoidance maneuver To avoid potential collision.
Five countries have now committed not to conduct devastating direct ascent tests against satellites: the United States, New Zealand, Germany, Japan and Canada.