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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Russia has staged a test of an anti-satellite weapons system that could take out spacecraft in low Earth orbit, according to a statement from U.S. Space Command today.

Why it matters: The move further escalates tensions between the U.S. and Russia when it comes to military uses of outer space.

What's happening: Not much about the test itself has been publicly disclosed, but a U.S. Space Command's Lt. Col. Christina Hoggatt said via email that they are not tracking any debris from the test at the moment.

  • Last year, a Russian satellite was also found to be shadowing a U.S. spy satellite.
  • "This test is further proof of Russia’s hypocritical advocacy of outer space arms control proposals designed to restrict the capabilities of the United States while clearly having no intention of halting their counterspace weapons programs," Gen. John Raymond, commander of U.S. Space Command, said in the statement.
  • Russia's test comes about a year after India launched a test of its own anti-satellite missile, which created hundreds of pieces of space junk by destroying its own satellite.

The big picture: Nations with the ability to launch anti-satellite missiles held back from using those capabilities against enemies, but experts are concerned that could change in the future.

  • A report from the Secure World Foundation released last month shows that nations around the world are making moves toward further militarization of space.
  • "Right now, there appears to be a norm against using kinetic capabilities, but I fear that could change, particularly in a future high-stakes conflict between a couple of space powers," Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation told Axios at the end of March.
  • Experts are particularly worried that future tests could create pieces of space junk that would make broad swaths of orbit unusable.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Health

Biden administration to lift travel ban for fully vaccinated international travelers

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

White House COVID-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients announced on Monday that the Biden administration will allow fully vaccinated travelers from around the world to enter the U.S. beginning in November.

Why it matters: The announcement comes as President Biden seeks commitments from countries to donate vaccines to the global COVAX initiative. He is expected to host a COVID summit on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly this week, and many of the countries attending have expressed frustration with the travel ban.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Gen Z breaks into VC

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When Meagan Loyst joined VC firm Lerer Hippeau, less than two years out of Boston College, she was still living with her parents. She had virtually no online brand presence, and the pandemic made it impossible to build a professional network via in-person meetings.

Why it matters: Loyst wasn't alone. Venture firms have accelerated hiring in line with record deal activity, often seeking younger investors who can spot trends that fly below the radar (or intrinsic understanding) of older partners.

White House aims to protect workers from extreme heat

Two pear pickers in Hood River, Ore. on Aug. 13. Photo: Michael Hanson/AFP via Getty Images

The White House announced a slew of actions Monday, including the start of a rule-making process at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to protect American workers from extreme heat.

Driving the news: The U.S. just had its hottest summer on record, with triple-digit-temperatures killing hundreds in the Pacific Northwest and exposing outdoor workers to dangerous conditions.