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Russia's Space Nuke Could Destroy Orbit for Whole Planet, Germans Warn

No Nukes

The anti-satellite space weapon Russia is said to be developing could potentially destroy low-Earth orbit for everyone.

"If somebody dares to explode a nuclear weapon in high atmosphere or even space, this would be more or less the end of the usability of that global commons," Michael Traut, the major general in charge of Germany's military space command, said last week per Politico Europe. "Nobody would survive an action like that — no satellite, either Chinese or Russian and American or European."

The destruction of everyone's satellites does seem to be the intended effect of the alleged weaponry, which per three anonymous sources who spoke to CNN last week would use some sort of massive energy blast to basically blast satellites into orbital dead weight.

As Traut rightfully points out, there are currently "more questions than answers" about the reported Russian space nuke, but what has been reported so far is certainly very troubling.

"If somebody calculates rationally, nobody would employ such a weapon in space," the German space command head said. "The consequences of an attack would be to turn thousands of blinking satellites now buzzing through orbit into junk while creating dense debris fields."

Leaky Ship

News of the purported space weapon dropped after Rep. Mike Turner, the Ohio Republican congressman in charge of the House Intelligence Committee, publicly warned last Wednesday of a "serious national security threat" that the American people deserved to know about.

By the end of the week, President Joe Biden confirmed that the Ohio congressman was referring to the Russians' development of an anti-satellite space weapon, and over the weekend, unnamed officials leaked more information about it.

Despite the terrifying and science fiction-esque concept of a nuclear space weapon, the White House is urging calm as reports continue to emerge about the technology.

"Though Russia's pursuit of this particular capability is troubling, there is no immediate threat to anyone's safety," White House adviser John Kirby told reporters last week. "We are not talking about a weapon that can be used to attack human beings or cause physical destruction here on Earth."

That last bit may be twisting the truth a bit, however.

As Ludwig Möller, the director of the European Space Policy Institute, told Politico, if Russia knocked out commercial satellites with its mysterious weapons, it could result in trillions of dollars of damage and impact everything from the energy sector to the banking industry.

We still don't know very much about the Russians' in-development space weapon, but what we do know is more than enough to give anyone pause — including, apparently, global leaders.

More on satellite destruction: SpaceX Announces Plans to Set 100 Starlink Satellites on Fire