Russia rejects accusations of endangering ISS astronauts

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian officials are rejecting accusations that they endangered astronauts aboard the International Space Station by conducting a weapons test that created more than 1,500 pieces of space junk. U.S. officials on Monday accused Russia of destroying an old satellite with a missile in what they called a reckless and irresponsible strike. The debris could damage the space station. Russia’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday confirmed carrying out a test and destroying a defunct satellite, but insisted that “the U.S. knows for certain that the resulting fragments … did not and will not pose a threat to orbital stations, spacecraft and space activities.” It called remarks by U.S. officials “hypocritical.” But NATO’s chief agreed that Russia’s actions endangered the space station.