President Trump's newly created Space Command announced Thursday (July 23) that Russia has tested a space-based anti-satellite weapon.
"On July 15, Russia injected a new object into orbit from Cosmos 2543, currently Satellite Catalog Number 45915 in Space-Track.org," Space Command wrote. "Russia released this object in proximity to another Russian satellite, which is similar to on-orbit activity conducted by Russia in 2017, and inconsistent with the system's stated mission as an inspector satellite."
According to Gen. John W. "Jay" Raymond, Commander of U.S. Space Command and U.S. Space Force Chief of Space Operations, the U.S. government "raised concerns" earlier this year about the same Russian satellite system, when it "maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite."
"This is further evidence of Russia's continuing efforts to develop and test space-based systems, and consistent with the Kremlin's published military doctrine to employ weapons that hold U.S. and allied space assets at risk," Raymond said.
We noted in April, Russia has been testing anti-satellite weapons, with aims to destroy U.S. spy satellites. This has been an ongoing issue for years. Back in 2018, the State Department raised concerns that a Russian satellite could be weaponized to take out the U.S. GPS network.
Russia's space weapon test is the latest example of new threats emerging in Low Earth orbit (LEO). President Trump's initiative for a new military branch appears to have been an excellent decision to protect U.S. assets in LEO, despite sparking a new race for the weaponization of space.
War hawks have claimed that if the Trump administration didn't act, China or Russia would've weaponized outer space first, leaving the U.S., and its network of spy satellites in immediate danger.
Space Command already appears to be safeguarding America's assets in outer space, as it seems Russia could be making moves to take out critical U.S. spy satellites.