Why NASA need not worry about India's ASAT test


"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 Defence Research and Development Organisation told reporters.

The letter comes days after NASA chief Bridenstine in a town hall meeting criticized India's anti-satellite missile (ASAT) test because of the debris it generated in the space.

Earlier, Reddy said that India's satellite hit poses no threat to International Space Station (ISS) as first claimed by NASA. "All debris should decay within 45 days from March 27", said Reddy.

India's recent test of anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile has been termed as "a bad, awful thing" by NASA.

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The Ministry of External Affairs too has said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there is no space debris.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the mission, dubbed Mission Shakti, conducted on March 27 had made India a "space power". "If a space command needs to be formulated, it is the decision of the government". All necessary permissions were taken, Reddy said.

For the first test mission, slated for 2024, the company wants to dismantle SwissCube, a nanosatellite developed by students from EPFL and other Swiss universities and launched on 23 September 2009.

Speaking about the importance of the mission, the DRDO chief said, "The DRDO has shown the capability of a complex mission".

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

"Post the formal approval in 2016, we started working on this project", Reddy said. "This test won't breach any global law or treaties", said Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The test created almost 3,000 pieces of debris, AFP had reported. The US expressed concerns about the spread of debris from the test. Some 150 scientists worked round-the-clock and some 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries.

The test of the anti-satellite weapon makes India the fourth country to have carried out such a test. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstein talked about 60 bits have been tracked so far and from that 24 are going over the apogee of the ISS.

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