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UN passes resolution to curb space debris from anti-satellite missile tests

engadget – China, India and Russia all voted against the measure. “The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution today asking countries not to conduct direct-ascent anti-satellite tests (ASAT) that create space junk. The US spearheaded the measure after the International Space Station (ISS) had a close call last year with more than 1,500 pieces of debris from a Russian ASAT. The measure doesn’t ban the development or testing of ASAT systems, but it discourages conducting them in a way that creates space debris. Although since it came from the UN General Assembly and not the Security Council, it isn’t legally binding. In addition to creating navigational hazards for astronauts, space junk also reflects sunlight to Earth’s surface, interfering with ground-based telescopes. Moreover, researchers expect orbital debris to increase by magnitudes over the next decade as internet-broadcasting mini-satellites, like SpaceX’s Starlink, grow in popularity.”

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