Pentagon backs India, says ASAT debris expected to burn up in atmosphere

Grant Boone
April 6, 2019

The United States has said that the issue of space debris is an important concern and it has taken note of the Indian government's statements that its recently conducted anti-satellite test (A-SAT) was created to address "space debris issues", according to US State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino. The only three other members of space super league are the United States, Russia and China. Reddy said the Indian test was created to ensure minimum debris. NASA has identified approximately 400 pieces from the destroyed satellite, of which 60 are larger than 10 centimetres (4 inches) wide-large enough to be tracked by the USA military's ground radars, SpaceNews reports.

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

The launch of Anti-satellite Weapon Test (ASAT) on March 27 by India has drawn sharp criticism from some of the commercial space companies. Earlier this week, NASA's administrator had warned of the danger the debris posed to the the International Space Station (ISS). The missile was sacked from Odisha in East India and collided with a satellite in low-Earth orbit 300km away, Modi stated. Despite this, he proposes that this may still be a violation of the Outer Space Treaty 1967 "since they [other nations] might well suffer harmful interference with their own satellite operations".

India has hailed the test as a sign that it is a space power.

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Bridenstine made the comments on Monday while speaking to NASA employees at a town hall meeting, reports Space.

"The mission had been designed in a away that debris decays very fast and that minimal debris goes up", G. Satheesh Reddy, head of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation told reporters. The issue of space junk is also one which India argues will be solved by the low orbit of the satellite.

The fundamental issue with the project from an worldwide point of view is the lack of consultation or notification from India's side. "Let's not make it a mess".

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