India's Anti-Satellite Test Could Threaten Space Station


What we are tracking right now are objects big enough to track - objects that are 10 centimetres or bigger.

NASA estimated the debris created by the Indian test increased the chance of an impact on the ISS by 44 percent over the following ten days.

NASA said the long-duration flight was "in the best interest of the agency's needs to ensure continued access and better utilization" of the space station.

Misra's statement came a day after NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said that the test had created 60 pieces of orbital debris big enough to track and 400 pieces of debris in total.

"We will continue to work with like-minded countries to address gaps in the global legal regime governing the exploration and use of outer space with a view to ensuring that no one threatens peaceful activities and applications of space technologies for socio-economic development." the statement added. "Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks", CBS News reported.

The International Space Station was launched way back in 1998 and has been seen over 54 crewed missions.

"All of those are placed at risk when these kinds of events happen, and when one country does it, then other countries feel like they have to do it as well".

Scientists shot down a live satellite 300 kilometres from Earth with a ground-to-space missile on Wednesday, in what Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed a "breakthrough" for anti-satellite weaponry.

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Even though China has refrained from repeating its 2007 test, it continues to pursue its controversial antisatellite program. After the US, Russia and China, India is the fourth country to have anti-satellite missile capability.

The NASA head said 24 of the pieces are going above the apogee of the ISS. Although he claimed that U.S., owing to its tax payer's money, is responsible for space situation awareness, management and analysis of orbital debris created by another nation; the country has been one of the first to indulge in such space adventurism.

Bridenstine went on to discuss the range of commercial activities that are planned for low-Earth orbit - from pharmaceutical to manufacturing enterprises - which could be put at risk by clouds of debris.

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Alice Gorman, an Australian space archaeologist and debris expert, told CNET that any fragmentation event is risky and not for scientific purposes, describing these missions as "purely and simply a visible demonstration of power".

Despite Bridenstine's condemnation and the Pentagon's earlier call to "not make a mess" in space, there won't be any real consequences for India, Gagnon believes, because the USA needs a space-warfare-capable India to corner China.

He also dismissed the notion that India's arrival on the space weapons scene will spark a new arms race - because one is already underway and India is simply striving to keep up.