U.S Congress Discloses Russia’s Development of Satellite-Targeting Space Nuclear Weapon

Russia is reportedly developing a nuclear weapon designed to disable or destroy satellites, which could potentially escalate geopolitical tensions. This was disclosed to the US Congress and European allies, although the exact nature of the weapon is unclear. US military reportedly lacks the ability to counter such a weapon and defend its satellites. While US officials do not believe that such a weapon will be launched soon, they admit there is a limited window of time to prevent it.

The development of nuclear weapons for use in space is currently prohibited by the Outer Space Treaty of 1967. However, there are concerns that Russia might be withdrawing from the treaty to further militarize space. In response to this development, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Turner, has called on President Biden to declassify all information related to this threat, so that proper responses can be discussed openly.

However, other members of Congress have downplayed the severity of the threat. Specifically, Rep. Jim Himes, the ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said it is not a cause for panic, and that public discussions about declassification should be handled with care.

Some speculate that this development could be related to Russia’s recent classified satellite launch, Cosmos 2575. Meanwhile, the US Space Force has launched six satellites designed to detect and track missile launches.

A nuclear detonation in space could have both immediate and long-lasting effects. Immediate effects include pulses of high-energy radiation that can damage or blind nearby satellites. Long-lasting effects may include the creation of radiation belts that could affect satellites in orbit or those launched thereafter.

Nuclear weapons are not the only anti-satellite capabilities being pursued by countries like Russia. They have also been developing ground-based lasers that can blind satellites and testing anti-satellite missiles. The US military has expressed concerns about both Russia and China turning space into a warfighting domain and deploying capabilities that can target GPS and other vital space-based systems.

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