When Russia’s military blasted an old satellite to smithereens last month with an antisatellite missile, U.S. officials reacted angrily, warning that thousands of tiny pieces of new orbital debris could endanger astronauts on the International Space Station. Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, seemed to share some of that frustration.

"No, I don’t like it,” Rogozin, who initially downplayed the threat of the debris, said in a recent interview. He noted his concern "that there is a lot of debris scattered across the orbit.”

While the danger to the space station’s astronauts has waned, the diplomatic impact of Russia’s military action in orbit continues to loom large.