Pentagon says India debris expected to burn up in atmosphere

Cristina Cross
April 7, 2019

Further, Reddy noted that the debris caused by the mission will decay within 45 days.

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.

In March, the Pentagon had said it is tracking 250-270 objects of debris in the space generated due to India's anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test in lower earth orbit, but the International Space Station or ISS is not at risk.

"The A-SAT test was successfully conducted with a new interceptor missile against a live orbiting satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a hit-to-kill mode". India is fourth country after US, Russia and China, which have such capabilities. "All necessary permissions were taken", he said.

An audio-visual played during the event said that the seeds of the "A-Sat test" were sown in 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the DRDO to work on critical technologies and the final go-ahead was given in 2016.

Bridenstine and other space experts also said the risk from the Indian debris would dissipate as much of it would burn up as it entered the atmosphere.

"The mission of this nature, after the test is conducted, cant be kept secret technically".

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Speaking about the reports of a failed test in February this year before the actual test, Reddy said, "DRDO has been regularly conducting some tests with electronic targets".

Reddy also said that there was no need for any more tests in this orbit now. About 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries.

With 830 satellites, U.S. leads the world in the number of satellites, followed by China with 280 satellites.

On the timing of the test, Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Saran said it was a "technologically and scientifically driven one".

"I think there are very few countries in the world, which have space programmes bigger than us. We have had several statements from the USA, as far as India is concerned the official position is contained in the State Department statement".

"That is a awful, bad thing to create an event that sends debris and an apogee that goes above the International Space Station".

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