India says debris from anti-satellite test won’t harm ISS

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India says debris from anti-satellite test won’t harm ISS

The letter comes days after NASA chief Bridenstine in a town hall meeting criticised India's anti-satellite missile (ASAT) test because of the debris it generated in the space and its potential threat to the International Space Station. This, despite the fact that NASA's administrator warned of the dangers that the debris posed.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said on Monday that over 400 pieces of orbital debris from the test had been identified, including debris that was travelling above the International Space Station - something he called a "terrible, awful thing". Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a televised announcement to address the test, claiming that India had now established itself as a space power joining only the U.S., Russian Federation and China in conducting anti-satellite tests per Reuters.

India chose a much lower orbit of less than 300km during Mission Shakti for "capability demonstration" and to avoid threat of debris to global space assets, DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy said on Saturday.

The successful anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test on March 27 was truly a moment of pride for every Indian.

The situation had been quite similar back in 2007 where China had destroyed a satellite in a polar orbit.

On March 27, India shot down one of its satellites in space with an ASAT missile, which made it only the fourth country after the United States, the USSR and China to have used such a weapon.

"There was a risk for 10 days and we have crossed that period", he told a press conference. The missile was sacked from Odisha in East India and collided with a satellite in low-Earth orbit 300km away, Modi stated.

Troublingly, NASA says around two dozen pieces of the destroyed Indian satellite were flung to orbits higher than the ISS, which now orbits the Earth at an altitude of 410 kilometres (255 miles).

The US military tracks objects in space to predict the collision risk for the ISS and satellites.

The Indian satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 300 kilometres -120 kilometres below the ISS and most orbiting satellites. This test was conducted in an attempt to boost India's defence in space.

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