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

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

Kenneth Drake
April 7, 2019

India used an indigenously developed ballistic missile interceptor to destroy one of its own satellites at a height of 300 km (186 miles), in a test aimed at boosting its defences in space.

"The test happened as per design".

He also responded to a question on Congress leader P Chidambaram's criticism of the government on the test, who had said that "only a foolish government" would reveal a defence secret.

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". He was addressing a press conference on the ASAT test.

On the issue of militarisation of space, Dr. Reddy said space had gained importance in the military domain. India became the fourth country to join the club. "From our simulation, we can very clearly say that the possibilities of (debris) hitting the ISS are not there", Reddy said. NASA Calls Mission Shakti "Terrible Thing". "This test won't breach any global law or treaties", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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The US official's comments came in the wake of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) chief Jim Bridenstine labelling India's A-SAT test as "a bad, awful thing". Statement by the USA state department is the U.S. official position.

Debris from Indian anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons test conducted on 27 March would burn up in the atmosphere, Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan said Thursday, despite NASA administrator warning of the left-over debris. "LEO was chosen based on simulations with primary objective being to minimise debris".

"Even though the interceptor has the capability to intercept at the altitudes of more than 1000km, it has been very specifically created to have an interception below 300 km to ensure the safety of space assets and also that debris there decays very fast", he said. Some part of the debris has decayed already.

The major challenges in the mission were to achieve "hit to kill" against a live satellite with an accuracy with less than 10 cm.

When asked about the need for a space command and serial production of the A-Sat, he said, "It is for the government to take a decision".