Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Pakistan expresses concern over anti-satellite weapon test by India

ISRO scientist Tapan Misra at Gujarat National Law University on Tuesday ISRO scientist Tapan Misra at Gujarat National Law University on Tuesday
Sandra Phillips | 05 April, 2019, 00:01

India is now the fourth country to have tested ASATs, the others being the USA, the Soviet Union, and China.

The satellite shattered into pieces, many of which are dangerously large but too small to track, Bridenstine said. We'll have to keep a keen eye on the worldwide space community's approach towards India from here on out.

Delhi has insisted it carried out the test in low-earth orbit, at an altitude of 300km (186 miles), to not leave space debris that could collide with the ISS or satellites.

The state department's softball approach to the test contrasted sharply with the hardline taken by the NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine who characterized the Indian test as a "terrible, awful thing" that endangered the ISS and said it is "unacceptable" and "that kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight".

Pakistan joined other countries by sharing the reservation over the reports that some of the space debris created by this test has been pushed above the apogee of the International Space Station (ISS) which has increased the risk of collision with space missions.

A day after India successfully carried out its ASAT test, acting USA defence secretary Patrick Shanahan warned that the event could create a "mess" in space but said Washington was still studying the impact.

Astronomer Jonathan McDowell from the prestigious Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics had said India acted in a less irresponsible manner than the Chinese in doing the test.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week said they had shot down a satellite in space with an anti-satellite missile, hailing the test as a major breakthrough in its space programme.

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India's ministry of external affairs said at the time of the launch the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there was no space debris.

"Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks".

The NASA chief said so in response to U.S. Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson's question why the country need a "crash program for the Moon".

Space debris poses a very significant problem for space.

Boeing's passenger spacecraft for deliveries to the International Space Station (ISS), already lagging behind SpaceX, has been delayed let again. "All of those are placed at risk when these kind of events happen". "The good thing is, it's low enough in Earth orbit that over time this will all dissipate", he said.

Bridenstine said NASA was preparing a request for additional funding to achieve the 2024 ambitious Moon landing goal.

"We are learning more and more every hour that goes by about this orbital debris that has been created from this anti-satellite test". And in 1985, the United States also used one of its own satellites for target practice.

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