News Release

Behind the Satellite Shoot-Down


The Times of London reports that the U.S. government’s “decision to destroy a defunct spy satellite orbiting Earth by firing a missile into outer space provoked a diplomatic row today, with both China and Russia accusing the U.S. of having carried out a covert weapons test.”

Slater is director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. She said today: “Right now Bush is trampling on the Chinese-Russian U.N. initiative to ban weapons in space. … We should be demanding of all the candidates that they take a position on banning weapons in space…”
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Young, a senior analyst with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said today: “The public rationale that the satellite shoot-down was done for safety reasons doesn’t really hold up to scrutiny.”

Grego, an astrophysicist at the Union of Concerned Scientists, said today: “If the Pentagon demonstrates that its missile defense systems can destroy satellites, it will be very difficult to convince other countries that they shouldn’t develop a similar anti-satellite capability. Moreover, concern that the United States has this offensive capability deployed around the world will likely complicate relations with Russia and China.”

UCS noted in a statement: “Not only has the United States failed to lead efforts to prevent the development, deployment and use of anti-satellite systems, it has for many years opposed international efforts to do so, Grego pointed out. Just last week the Bush administration rejected a draft treaty presented at the U.N. Conference on Disarmament that would ban space weapons and prohibit attacking satellites from the ground or space.”
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Background: The U.S. government document “Vision for 2020” outlines how the U.S. government would “control space” to “dominate” the planet below.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167