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Russian ASAT Debris Imperils DoD, NRO Satellites, While ISS Risks Increase

Significant amounts of debris from Russia’s Nov. 15 anti-satellite weapon test will continue to threaten US military weather and spy satellites, as well as the International Space Station over the next several years, according to a detailed analysis by commercial space tracking firm COMSPOC.

The satellite most imperiled in the first 24 hours after the A-235/P-19 Nudol ASAT system’s interceptor smashed into Russia’s Cosmos 1408 bird was one of America’s four remaining Defense Meteorological Satellite Program weather sats, DMSP 5D-3 F18 (USA 210). Two other DMSP birds — DMSP 5D-3 F16 (USA 172) and DMSP 5D-15 (USA 147) — were also among the top 50 at-risk satellites in the immediate wake of the ASAT test, according to COMSPOC’s analysis.

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