Private Aerospace Companies Rally to End Destructive Anti-Satellite Testing

Twenty-six aerospace companies join international effort to promote space sustainability and safety

In a significant step towards making the space environment safer and more sustainable, twenty-six private aerospace companies have pledged their support to end destructive anti-satellite (ASAT) testing. The nonprofit Secure World Foundation (SWF) announced this development on Tuesday, highlighting the importance of curbing these tests that pose a threat to humanity’s expansion into space. The signatories include prominent companies such as Axiom Space and Planet, who are actively involved in space exploration and Earth observation missions.

The Threat of ASAT Testing:

ASAT tests involve launching missiles from the ground, sea-based vessels, or airplanes to target dead or dying satellites. While these tests may seem like a way to eliminate space debris, they actually create long-lasting orbital debris that poses a significant risk to national assets, commercial spacecraft, and human spaceflight platforms. Moreover, the debris generated from ASAT tests can also jeopardize the space-based services that are crucial for daily life on Earth. Recognizing these dangers, the signatories of the industry statement emphasize the threat that such debris poses to future economic activity, innovation, and investment in low Earth orbit.

International Efforts to Curb ASAT Testing:

The push to end destructive ASAT testing gained momentum in April 2022 when the United States pledged to refrain from conducting such tests. In September 2022, the U.S. introduced a resolution at the United Nations General Assembly, urging other nations to make a similar commitment. So far, 37 countries, including major space players like Canada, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United Kingdom, have joined this international effort. The recent endorsement by twenty-six private aerospace companies further strengthens the call for space sustainability and safety.

Real-life Consequences:

The dangers of ASAT testing are not merely theoretical. In 2007, China conducted an ASAT test that destroyed one of its dead satellites, resulting in a significant increase in space debris. Russia followed suit in November 2021, demolishing a defunct Soviet-era spacecraft called Cosmos 1408. These tests have been widely condemned by the international community, exploration advocates, and spaceflight companies. LeoLabs, a satellite monitoring and tracking firm, cited the Russian ASAT test as a catalyst for their support of the industry statement, highlighting the real and lasting dangers posed by such tests.


The commitment by twenty-six private aerospace companies to end destructive ASAT testing marks a significant milestone in the quest for space sustainability and safety. By recognizing the threats posed by orbital debris and the potential economic and innovation risks, these companies join the international effort to curtail ASAT tests. With the support of major space players and the growing awareness of the consequences, the hope for a safer and more sustainable space environment becomes increasingly attainable. As humanity continues to explore and expand its presence in space, it is crucial to prioritize responsible practices that ensure the long-term viability of space activities for future generations.






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