Why NASA need not worry about India's ASAT test

Why NASA need not worry about India's ASAT test

With the successful anti-satellite missile test, India is capable of hitting a target at a range of over 1,000 km in space and a lower orbit was chosen for the mission to avoid threat of debris to global space assets, DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy said Saturday.

NASA, on the other hand, that more than 400 pieces of orbital debris from the test had been identified - including debris that was travelling above the International Space Station.

Responding to the observations made by NASA Administrstor Jim Bridenstine about the possible threat to the International Space Station, Mr Reddy said when India conducted the test, the space station was over French Guyana.

The US's surveillance and warning network was able to detect India's missile launch in low earth orbit which was aimed at one of its own satellites.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Wednesday (March 27) announced that India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite missile by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of elite space super-powers.

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India's "Mission Shakti" upset the United States.

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".

Clearance to conduct the test was received in 2016 when the programme to develop the interceptor missile began in earnest, Reddy said. "This test covers all LEO satellites, including those for military use", Dr. Reddy said, adding that hitting multiple satellites was feasible.

Nearly all the technologies used for the ASAT test were indigenously developed with some 50 industries contributing components for the 13 metre missiles weighing 19 tonnes. The test created almost 3,000 pieces of debris, AFP had reported. "We will continue to monitor the remaining debris from your test as it relates to the safety of our human spaceflight activities especially at the International Space Station", wrote the NASA Administration, according to the letter. About 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries.

Asked if India has informed U.S. or other nations about the test, Saran admitted that India was "in touch" with other space powers.

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