India’s successful ‘Mission Shakti’, has been labelled as a ‘terrible thing’ by NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine.
While addressing employees in US today, he mentioned that the missile test created 400 pieces of orbital debris and posed a threat to astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS).
“What we are tracking right now, objects big enough to track - we're talking about 10 centimeters or bigger - about 60 pieces have been tracked.” he said. India on 27th March added its name to the power club of the world, next to Russia, USA and China by becoming the fourth country to shoot down a Low-Earth Orbit satellite by using an Anti Satellite Missile (ASAT).
Though the satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 300 km and well below most of the ISS satellites in orbit. 24 of its pieces were going above the ISS.
“That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station, ”said Bridenstine.
“That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight, ” he added.
The US military tracks objects in space to predict the collision risk for the ISS and for satellites.They are currently tracking 23,000 objects larger than 10 centimeters. Bridenstine mentioned that as a result of India’s test, the risk of collision of debris with ISS has gone up to 44%. But the risk will dissipate over time as much of the debris will burn up as it enters the atmosphere.
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 on to the Earth within weeks, ” it said.
“It is a mere speculative statement. This is typical American way of dealing with the progress India made. As far as our ASAT missile test is concerned , all these objects do not have enough velocity to survive in space for too long. With no energy or momentum, these debris generated at the 300 km altitude after the ASAT test will ultimately fall and burn out in the earth’s atmosphere.” Talking to ‘Times Of India’ , former DRDO chief V.K Saraswat said.
Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the feat of scientists on Thursday, the US spoke about the disposal of satellite waste.
The US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shawnhun spoke about this.
"Any country's experiment should not interfere space operations. We do not tolerate such developments. There are numerous satellite waste in the spacecraft by usage of the A-Satellite missile experiment that destroys enemy satellite. All countries like India who may in futuer bring out such experiments will have to be avoided as such a thing can cause waste problems in space. "
Answering to NASA's Concern The Indian Department of Foreign Affairs gave another clarification over their statements.
"A-sat experiment in Earth's orbit can not cause waste problems in space. The parts of the satellite that have been struck by the missile are burned shortly and fall into the ashes of the earth, " it said
Russia oppose India's Mission Shakti:
Russia also joins the bandwagon of opposition as and when it expressed its dissatisfaction on March 29 in response to the A-Sat missile experiment on Friday.
Indirectly opposed to India's attempt, "competing with weapons in space is not good thing, "Russia said
"We are engaged in every effort of India to bring peace in the world. But the competitiveness of weapons in space is not okay. We oppose A-Sat because we want peace. It can be fatal for space satellites. "
The launch of the anti-satellite missile (A-Sat) received appreciation all around the country. While DRDO was praised for its effort, the fact that the announcement was made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and not by any member of DRDO, the ruling party faced a backlash for trying to take the credit. Opposition also praised India's space exploration on Wednesday.