Russia said the event involved a small space vehicle that “inspected one of the national satellites from a close distance using special equipment.
The United States accused Russia on Thursday of conducting a test of an anti-satellite weapon in space, asserting that it exposed Moscow’s intent to deploy weapons that threaten U.S. and allied satellites.
In Moscow, the Defense Ministry said the July 15 event involved a small space vehicle that “inspected one of the national satellites from a close distance using special equipment.”
It added that the inspection provided valuable information about the object that was inspected, which was transmitted to the ground-based control facilities.
The U.S., however, said the Russian actions were inconsistent with the stated mission of an inspector satellite.
The Russian satellite system used to conduct this on-orbit weapons test is the same satellite system that we raised concerns about earlier this year, when Russia maneuvered near a U.S. government satellite, said Gen John W. Raymond, commander of Space Command and the head of U.S. Space Force.