On Tuesday, the head of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) has branded India’s destruction of one of its anti-missile satellites or A-SAT as “terrible thing”, which caused around 400 pieces of orbital debris and created new dangers for astronauts aboard the ISS (International Space Station).
Jim Bridenstine has addressed employees of NASA after India has shot down a low-orbiting satellite in an anti-missile test to prove it was among the globe’s advanced space powers.
However, not all of the pieces were large enough to track, the NASA head claims, “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 further informed that the satellite was damaged at a relatively low altitude of 300 km, which is below the ISS and most satellites in orbit.
Mr. Bridenstine said, however, 24 of the pieces “are going above the apogee of the International Space Station.”
“That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station,” said the NASA head, adding “That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.”
He claims, “It’s unaccepted and NASA needs to be very clear about what its impact to us is”.
The United States military tracks have objects in space to foresee the collision risk for ISS and for satellites as well. Currently, they are tracking around 23000 objects larger than 10 centimeters.
It also includes nearly 10000 pieces of space debris, of which 3000 were created by a single event- an anti-satellite test by China in 2007 at 530 miles distance from the surface.
As a result of the test, the risk of accident with ISS has increased by around 44 percent on 10-days, said Jim Bridenstine.
But the risk will dissolve over time as much of the debris would burn up as it enters the atmosphere.