It seemed like the 2024 equivalent of a Sputnik moment: In a cryptic statement on Feb. 14, a U.S. lawmaker privy to U.S. intelligence warned of a grave but unspecified security threat from Russia.

After days of uncertainty, President Joe Biden offered the most detailed account yet Friday of what the danger was. Russia has been developing an anti-satellite space weapon, but it doesn’t pose a “nuclear threat” to those on Earth. In fact, Biden said, it may never go ahead.