The United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on Monday (local time) called India’s successful anti-satellite test (A-SAT) as “unacceptable”.
Alleging that the test poses a safety threat to the International Space Station (ISS), NASA’s Administrator Jim Bridenstine said: “It’s unacceptable…That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris in an apogee that goes above the International Space Station.”
NASA said that India’s test created 400 pieces of orbital debris, reports Sputnik. Out of these, 60 pieces are “big enough” – 10 centimetres or larger – to be tracked. 24 of these pieces are expected to go above the ISS’ apogee.
Quoting NASA, Sputnik reported that due to India’s A-SAT test, the risk of small debris impact to the space station increased by 44 per cent over the period of 10 days.
On Wednesday, India’s anti-satellite weapon A-SAT successfully destroyed a satellite on a low earth orbit, joining a group of three countries – the US, Russia and China – with such capability.
“India has entered its name as an elite space power. It is the fourth country to achieve this feat after the US, Russia and China. The ‘Mission Shakti’ operation was a difficult target to achieve, which was completed successfully within three minutes of the launch,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in an address to the nation.
The Prime Minister also assured the international community that this test does not violate any international treaty or law and that India remains committed against the arms race in space.