Published: Fri, April 05, 2019
Science | By

Pakistan concerned over India's ASAT test

Pakistan concerned over India's ASAT test

On the ASAT test, Mr Bridenstine had said, "It's unacceptable.That is a awful, bad thing to create an event that sends debris in an apogee that goes above the International Space Station (ISS)".

India on March 27 had become a "space superpower" with the successfully testing an anti-satellite weapon under "Mission Shakti" where it destroyed its own decommissioned satellite that was hovering in the Low Earth Orbit (LOE) at a height of 300 Km from the earth's surface.

The latest fragments add to the growing problem of space debris orbiting the Earth. The NASA chief warned that the risk of debris colliding with the International Space Station (ISS) had risen by 44% since India's anti-satellite weapon test. "If you see space debris (on a collision course), you can always change the course of the satellite", Misra said, adding that India would not do anything "deliberately" that would cause accidents in space. We'll have to keep a keen eye on the worldwide space community's approach towards India from here on out.

The "feat" was announced in a live television address to the Indian nation by Prime Minister Modi just weeks ahead of the general elections in the country.

The Foreign Office further said such test should be a matter of grave concern for the global community not only in terms of generation of space debris but also because of its ramifications for long term sustainability of peaceful space activities.

Indeed, Indian scientists have repeatedly pointed out that the low orbit test will result in quick dissipation of the debris and there should be no greater danger to the ISS than from all the debris generated previously from tests by the US, Russia, and particularly China.

NASA and Combined Space Operations Centre reportedly identified 400 pieces of space from India's A-SAT test.

NASA said that India shot its satellite to pieces, posing an "unacceptable" risk to astronauts on the ISS. "All of those are placed at risk when these kind of events happen - and when one country does it, then other countries feel like they have to do it as well". "That's a bad, awful thing to create", he said.

"At the end of the day we have to be clear also that these activities are not sustainable or compatible with human spaceflight", said Bridenstine.

However, space companies and agencies around the world were not pleased with India's test. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning at the Secure World Foundation, - a private organization that promotes peaceful uses of resources in outer space - asked on Twitter if any companies are considering boycotting India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to send a message to the nation.

"Destroying satellites orbiting in altitude bands that are heavily used for both military and civil satellites also can have ripple effects, producing unsafe clouds of debris that could stay in orbit for decades or centuries, disabling or destroying any satellites they collide with", said Grego in a statement.

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