The United States has accused Russia of “dangerous and reckless” behaviour after conducting an anti-satellite weapons test, which nearly forced astronauts to evacuate the International Space Station.

ASPI Senior Analyst Dr Malcolm Davis says Russia conducted the test against the defunct satellite Kosmos 1408 and destroyed it, creating a “huge cloud of space debris”.

Dr Davis said the cloud was currently comprised of 1,500 pieces of what was the satellite but it will “expand over time in several hundred thousand pieces of debris” which will threaten the International Space Station.

“Russia really has entail undertaken an action which is a slap in the face against the international efforts to try and prevent not only the weaponisation of space but also norms of responsible behaviour in space,” he told Sky News Australia.

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