Debris from anti-satellite test no danger to ISS, India says

Author: 
AFP
ID: 
1554589147148829700
Sat, 2019-04-06 12:41

NEW DELHI: India insisted Saturday that debris from its
anti-satellite missile test was not a danger to the International
Space Station, in a rebuff to criticism from the US space
agency.
India has been on the defensive following the March 27 test that
NASA branded a “terrible thing” that had created new dangers
for astronauts aboard the International Space Station.
“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 Defense Research and Development Organization told
reporters.
“There was a risk for 10 days and we have crossed that period,”
he told a press conference.
“As per our simulations, there were no possibilities of hitting
the International Space Station with debris from the satellite,”
he added.
NASA chief Jim Bridenstine last week condemned India’s
destruction of the satellite as a “terrible thing” that created
400 pieces of orbital debris, or “space junk.”
The danger from “space junk” is not that it falls to Earth but
that it collides with orbiting satellites.
Even the smallest piece of debris traveling at great speeds can put
a satellite out of action.
The Indian satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of
300 kilometers (180 miles), 120 kilometers below the ISS and most
orbiting satellites.
Bridenstine and other space experts also said the risk from the
Indian debris would dissipate as much of it would burn up as it
entered the atmosphere.
The US military tracks objects in space to predict the collision
risk for the ISS and satellites. They are currently tracking 23,000
objects larger than 10 centimeters.
These includes about 10,000 pieces of space debris, of which nearly
3,000 were created by a Chinese anti-satellite test.
India has hailed the test as a sign that it is a space power. Only
the United States, Russia and China had previously carried out
successful anti-satellite missile strikes in space.

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Source: *FS – All – Science News Net
Debris from anti-satellite test no danger to ISS, India says