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VP Kamala Harris Announces US Commitment to Ending Anti-Satellite Missile Tests

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Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the U.S. pledged not to carry out destructive direct-ascent anti-satellite missile tests as part of efforts to establish international rules and norms for the responsible and sustainable use of space, Politico reported Monday.

“We are the first nation to make such a commitment. And today, on behalf of the United States of America, I call on all nations to join us,” Harris said Monday during her speech at Vandenberg Space Force Base in California.

The U.S., India, Russia and China have performed ASAT tests by launching a missile to destroy a satellite in space, resulting in thousands of pieces of space debris that could pose a risk to other satellites and astronauts, according to the report.

The recent test was conducted by Russia in November. Harris, who also leads the National Space Council, said such tests are part of efforts to build anti-satellite weapons, which could destroy U.S. satellites that are critical to national security.

She also mentioned a set of principles called Artemis Accords meant to establish a transparent and safe environment for space exploration, commercial and science activities.

As we move forward, we will remain focused on writing new rules of the road to ensure all space activities are conducted in a responsible, peaceful, and sustainable manner,” Harris added.