Russia has an anti-satellite NUKE currently in orbit that could render lower orbit UNUSABLE
05/08/2024 // Ethan Huff // Views

There is talk that Russia already has in orbit a nuclear weapon capable of taking out satellites and rendering low Earth orbit completely unusable for an indefinite period of time.

According to a senior U.S. government official, Russia secretly deployed the weapon as part of a nuclear-armed, on-orbit, anti-satellite weapon, which will probably be used at some point in the near future to target Western powers that refuse to let Ukraine lose the war.

At a recent fireside chat put on by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank, Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Deterrence and Stability Mallory Stewart spoke about the nature of what Russia controls up in space and the threat it poses to U.S. interests.

"The United States is extremely concerned that Russia may be considering the incorporation of nuclear weapons into its counterspace programs based on information we deem credible," Stewart said at the gathering.

"The United States has been aware of Russia's pursuit of this sort of capability dating back years, but only recently have we been able to make a more precise assessment of their progress."

(Related: Did you know that China, Russia's neighbor, is planning to annex space and control the moon?)

Will Russia nuke the West's space systems?

While Russia has not technically "deployed" the technology, according to Stewart, it is a matter of when not if it will be used by Russia as part of its space program, possibly in the very near future. At the same time, Russia did launch "something" into space as part of the program that has the U.S. deeply worried.

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"Russia has publicly claimed that their satellite is for scientific purposes," Stewart explained. "However, the orbit is in a region not used by any other spacecraft. That in itself was somewhat unusual."

"And the orbit is a region of higher radiation than normal, lower earth orbits, but not high enough of a radiation environment to allow accelerated testing of electronics as Russia has described the purpose to be."

Stewart did not reveal the name of the Russian satellite nor did she explain its use, possibly because she does not know. All we know is that the object is part of Russia's space-based weapons system, which has nuclear capabilities.

"We aren't talking about a weapon that can be used to attack humans or cause structural damage on Earth," Stewart did claim, aiming to defuse concerns about an impending nuclear attack on humans.

"Instead ... our analysts assess that detonation [of a nuclear device] in a particular placement in orbit of a magnitude and location would render lower Earth orbit unusable for a certain amount of time."

Low Earth Orbit (LEO), by the way, refers to the area of space located roughly 100 miles to 1,200 miles above Earth's surface, which right now is highly congested with satellites and space junk.

"Many capabilities that are highly important to society exist in this orbital realm," noted TWZ.

Assistant Secretary of Defense for Space Policy John Plumb commented about the same matter at a May 1 hearing before members of the House Armed Services Committee. Plumb answered questions on a written statement to Congress about the 2025 Fiscal Year budget for the Department of Defense.

"The concept that we are concerned about is Russia developing and – if we are unable to convince them otherwise – to ultimately fly a nuclear weapon in space," Plumb said, adding that the matter concerns an "indiscriminate weapon [that] doesn't have national boundaries, [and] doesn't determine between military satellites, civilian satellites or commercial satellites."

The latest news about Russia's space endeavors can be found at

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