The US tracked the weapon and it did not create debris, indicating it did not destroy a target, the source said.
The Russian test, coming as President-elect Donald Trump prepares to enter the White House next month, could be seen as a provocative demonstration of Moscow’s capability in space.
Russia has demonstrated the ability to launch anti-satellite weapons in the past, including its Nudol missile.
US military officials have expressed concerns about Russia’s burgeoning anti-satellite arsenal, as the US has become increasingly dependent on satellites for both military and commercial uses.
US officials believe Russia has also deployed what could be kamikaze satellites, known as “Kosmos 2499,” which are designed to sidle up to American satellites and, if ordered, destroy or disable them.
“We have very good surveillance and intelligence capabilities, so we can see the threats that are being built,” Gen. John Hyten, the commander of US Strategic command, told CNN in November. “So we’re developing capabilities to defend ourselves.”
Russia is not alone in the development of these type of weapons. China has conducted similar tests, destroying an old weather satellite in 2007 — a move analysts saw as indicative of China’s growing military capability.
The US has also destroyed a satellites in space, obliterating one with a missile in 2008 after American officials said the satellite’s orbital decay posed a risk.
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Featured image courtesy of Business Insider.