On Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, Russia blew up one of its defunct Kosmos spy satellites with an anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon. The in-orbit explosion transformed one two-ton hunk of dead satellite into a debris field spanning 1,500 pieces of "trackable orbital debris" -- and an untold number of pieces of debris too small to be easily tracked. This "dangerous and irresponsible" destruction of a satellite, said the U.S. State Department, immediately endangered the lives of astronauts working aboard the International Space Station (ISS), forcing them to shelter in place multiple times as ISS passed through the debris field.
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