Few days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India had successfully experimented an anti-satellite rocket and destroyed a low-orbiting microsatellite, a NASA administrator Tuesday said it’s a “terrible thing”, and added it was “unacceptable” as it has developed the risks for astronauts aboard the International Space Station by 44 per cent. India by launching Mission Shakti is now amongst the world’s advanced space powers. After the US, Russia, and China with the strategic capability to destroy satellites India stands as fourth country.
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said, “400 pieces of orbital debris” after India shot down a microsatellite. “That’s what has been identified, but all of that cannot be tracked. We are tracking about 60 pieces right now — these are objects that are 10 cm or bigger. Of these 60, we know that 24 of them are going above the apogee of the International Space Station,” he said. Bridenstine said, “We’re learning more and more every hour that goes by about this orbital degree field that has been created by the ASAT test. Since last week, the risk of small debris impact on the ISS has increased by 44 per cent.” He, however, added that the astronauts and the ISS are safe and “if we need to manoeuvre it (the debris), we will.”
“At the end of the day, these activities are not sustainable or compatible with human spaceflight,” Bridenstine said, “It is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station”. “When one country does it, other countries feel like they have to do it as well. It’s unacceptable,” he added. “The good thing is, the debris is low enough in orbit that in time, this will all dissipate. A lot of the debris from China’s anti-satellite test in 2007 is still in orbit and we’re still dealing with it,” he said.