India needs a comprehensive space security policy — Beyond ASAT test

NASA ISS astronauts lives 'at risk' due to Indian anti-satellite missile test

Wiki Media Commonsby Alex Hollings · 6 hours ago

The importance of satellite imaging to military intelligence explains the apprehensions that India may have over the protection of its space assets. A USA based satellite imaging company called Planet issued a statement; "Space should be used for peaceful purposes, and destroying satellites on orbit severely threatens the long term stability of the space environment for all space operators".

Sanahan said that the threat the debris might pose to satellites in space is little.

This response has come days after NASA criticized India for A-SAT test. Only the United States, Russia and China had previously carried out successful anti-satellite missile strikes in space.

A family in India watches prime minister Narendra Modi addressing the nation during a televised address on 27 March 2019.

Under the Mission Shakti, a joint mission of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the anti-satellite missile test was conducted in which one of India's existing satellites operating in the lower orbit was destroyed with a missile.

The situation had been quite similar back in 2007 where China had destroyed a satellite in a polar orbit.

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Troublingly, NASA says around two dozen pieces of the destroyed Indian satellite were flung to orbits higher than the ISS, which now orbits the Earth at an altitude of 410 kilometres (255 miles).

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". "That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight that we need to see have happen", he had said.

The fear is that a shard of the shattered satellite could strike and damage the ISS. The missile was sacked from Odisha in East India and collided with a satellite in low-Earth orbit 300km away, Modi stated.

Such activities are placed at risk by these kinds of events, he said, and "when one country does it, then other countries feel like they have to do it as well", he said.

"There was a risk for 10 days and we have crossed that period", he told a press conference. That said, Bridenstine assured the town hall audience that the six people now on board the ISS aren't in any immediate danger.

Laura Grego from the Union of Concerned Scientists said the almost 2,000 satellites now in orbit are put at risk by such tests. It is indeed a significant step in space capability for India, which has increased its focus on becoming a space power with a probe sent to Mars in 2014 and plans for a manned space flight in 2022.

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