April 21, 2019

‘Debris from ASAT test poses no threat, will eventually burn up’: Pentagon

06 April 2019, 06:30 | Silvia Roy

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Pentagon says India debris expected to burn up in atmosphere

However, these satellites are vulnerable - high-power lasers and jammers can make satellites dysfunctional.

"As per our simulations, there were no possibilities of hitting the International Space Station with debris from the satellite", he added.

The successful anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test on March 27 was truly a moment of pride for every Indian.

A family in India watches prime minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation during a televised address on 27 March 2019.

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On March 27, India shot down one of its satellites in space with an ASAT missile, which made it only the fourth country after the USA, the USSR and China to have used such a weapon.

The situation had been quite similar back in 2007 where China had destroyed a satellite in a polar orbit. The issue of space junk is also one which India argues will be solved by the low orbit of the satellite.

Jim Bridenstine had said that the ASAT test by India had created 69 pieces of orbital debris posing risk to the International Space Station.

The fear is that a shard of the shattered satellite could strike and damage the ISS.

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"Recently, we sent you a letter indicating a suspension of activities under the NASA-ISRO Human Space Flight Working Group", he wrote. He said that even NASA has claimed that the risk was for 10 days which are over today. That said, Bridenstine assured the town hall audience that the six people now on board the ISS aren't in any immediate danger. According to Laura Grego of the Union of Concerned Scientists, it is now becoming important to maintain a peaceful environment in space due to the proliferation of technologies like ASAT and the latest activity of India can motivate others to follow suit.

The Indian satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 300 kilometres -120 kilometres below the ISS and most orbiting satellites.

He further stated that attack on satellites in outer space will have negative consequences for investments in space and India is just an addition to the list of countries, which are responsible for it.

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