Monday, April 15, 2024

The United States has recently gathered new information about Russia’s nuclear abilities in outer space

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The US recently got new information about what Russia is up to with its military in space. They’re working on a system that could shoot down satellites using nuclear power. This info was shared with the US Congress and some close friends, and some lawmakers think it’s serious enough to tell everyone. Even though it’s a bit worrying, important people in Congress say it’s not an immediate danger to the US.

The system is still in the works and hasn’t been sent up into space yet, as per three US officials who know about it. We don’t know exactly how advanced the technology is at this point. One US official said it’s not a threat to humans, meaning it’s not a weapon to attack people.

We’re not sure if the info is about a nuclear-powered anti-satellite system or one that’s armed with nuclear weapons. Even though lawmakers say it’s not an urgent threat, experts are concerned. If there’s a weapon in space that can shoot down satellites, it could mess with the US’s control over its nuclear weapons.

ABC News first talked about this intelligence about Russia’s space-based nuclear capability. The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Mike Turner, caused a stir when he said they had info about a serious national security threat. Lawmakers rushed to see what it was, but some didn’t find it as urgent as Turner made it sound.

The House Speaker, Rep. Mike Johnson, tried to calm things down, saying there’s no need to worry. The top Democrat on the committee, Rep. Jim Himes, also said it’s a big deal but not a reason to panic. National security adviser Jake Sullivan was surprised that Turner made the info public before they had a scheduled meeting about it.

Turner wants the Biden administration to share all the info about this threat with everyone. The Senate Intelligence Committee leaders say they’ve been keeping an eye on this but it’s tricky to share details without revealing secret stuff.

This whole situation is happening as a $60 billion aid package to help Ukraine fight Russia is stuck in Congress, and former President Trump is supporting GOP members who oppose it. There’s also talk about Russia doing whatever they want to NATO allies that don’t spend enough on defense. This is causing a lot of noise, and Turner’s move to share the intel might be an attempt to get more support for Ukraine.

We don’t have all the details about the intelligence or what Russia can do, but for a while now, Russia has been working on ways to mess with US space systems, according to a 2022 report. They want to be able to mess with US satellites using different methods, from jamming them temporarily to destroying them completely.

In 2020, Russia tested a space weapon that could both inspect friendly satellites and attack enemy ones. If they’re trying to send a nuclear-armed anti-satellite system into space, it would break a treaty from 1967 that says no one should put nuclear weapons or other big weapons in orbit. The story is still developing, and we’ll keep you updated.

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