India anti-satellite weapon test 'a awful thing — NASA chief
04 April, 2019, 09:34 | Author: Dwayne Harmon
"That is a awful, bad thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station", he said. The risk is expected to eventually return to normal.
According to The Guardian, NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine addressed employees about the incident, saying that the debris is large enough to cause serious damage, but mostly too small to track.
He said that Nasa had identified 400 pieces of orbital debris and was tracking 60 pieces larger than 10cm in diameter.
Apogee refers to the point in orbit for an object that is furthest from the earth.
The conspicuous test, called Mission Shakti, was a demonstration of India's newfound capacity in space, and a warning to rival nations to stay clear of India's satellite fleet.
Arms control advocates have expressed concern about the increasing militarisation of space.
"The ASAT test by India last week has resulted in about 400 pieces of orbital debris", he said.
The US space agency NASA blamed the delay on "limited launch opportunities" in April and May from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
He said the device had been used to shoot down a low-orbit satellite-making India the fourth country in the world to have successfully deployed weapons in space: "We are not just capable to defend on land, water and air but now also in space". India's president said the test had shown the rest of the world that India was now a 'space nation'.
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The JFSCC said it will continue to actively track debris associated with the event and issue close approach notifications as required until the debris enters the earth's atmosphere.
The satellite destroyed by India last week was 186 miles from Earth, whereas the ISS usually circles Earth at an altitude of at least 205 miles.
A major problem with space debris is that it is a self perpetuating problem.
The Indian test's risks still fade in comparison to the 2007 equivalent by its archrival, China, which shattered a satellite at an altitude of more than 500 miles.
Nasa had withheld comment on the test until the volume of...
"The good thing is, it's low enough in Earth orbit that over time, this will all dissipate", Bridenstine said on Monday.
Anyone who's seen the film Gravity knows that debris is especially unsafe for the International Space Station. NASA astronauts have been stuck riding Russian rockets since the end of the space shuttle program. "There are no salvage laws in space". "If we need to maneuver [the ISS] we will - the probability of that, I think, is low".
Currently, there are no binding global agreements on the use of weapons in space.
However the Indian foreign ministry downplayed the significance of the launch insisting it was "not directed against any country". "All of those are placed at risk when these kind of events happen". The only three other members of space super league are the United States, Russia and China.
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