ASAT: US downplays NASA's criticism of India over space debris

Pablo Tucker
April 5, 2019

"The test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there is no space debris", India's Ministry of External Affairs stated in a press release.

The Trump administration on Tuesday reeled back the harsh criticism from NASA of India's anti-Satellite test, with the State Department emphasizing the "strong strategic relationship" with New Delhi over what was widely seen as its chief space administrator's overblown fears of orbital debris endangering the International Space Station.

Bridenstine said NASA was preparing a request for additional funding to achieve the 2024 Moon landing goal.

Today's anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile will give new strength to the country in terms of India's security and a vision of a developed journey.

A day after India successfully carried out its ASAT test, acting U.S. defence secretary Patrick Shanahan warned that the event could create a "mess" in space but said Washington was still studying the impact.

On March 27, India became the fourth nation in the world to shoot down a satellite in space, sending hundreds, if not thousands of pieces of debris flying.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been accused of using activities in space as political stunts. Only three other countries-the US, Russia and China-have ASAT capabilities.

The reports that some of the space debris created by this test has been pushed above the apogee of the ISS increasing the risk of collision have anxious the Pakistan.

"That is a bad, awful thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station", he said. "India registered its name as a space power". This included 60 pieces which were larger than 10 cm in diameter, and 24 of which were travelling through the orbit of the ISS, which led them to raise the risk rate to ISS by 44 percent.

In a televised address to the nation last week, Modi said "India has entered its name as an elite space power". "Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back on to the Earth within weeks", it said. At the time, Beijing was widely condemned for targeting one of its own satellites in a densely used orbit, where the likelihood of a catastrophic crash is highest.

The Chinese demonstration was carried out at 800 kilometers and was widely condemned because of the resulting space debris, which will likely stay in orbit for decades or longer. Now, thanks to a hilariously bad decision by India, there's even more of it.

NASA Administrator Bridenstine echoed those words of caution on Monday, saying, "When one country does it, then other countries feel like they have to do it as well". In any case, it was a dumb move, and India's space program just created a major headache for the rest of the world.

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