Head of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has termed India destroying one of its satellite as a “terrible thing” as it had created 400 pieces of orbital debris which has further led to new dangers for astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The remark was a part of Jim Bridenstine’s address to the employees of NASA after India, in a bid to prove it was among the world’s advanced space powers, had destroyed a low-orbiting satellite as part of testing a missile.
NASA head stated that all of the pieces were not big enough to track. However, he said, “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.”
It may be noted that the satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 300 kilometers, well below the ISS and most satellites in orbit.
But 24 of the pieces “are going above the apogee of the International Space Station,” stated Bridenstine.
“That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station,” he said, adding, “That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.”
“It’s unacceptable and NASA needs to be very clear about what its impact to us is.”
As a result of the Indian test, the risk of collision with the ISS has increased by 44 percent over 10 days, Bridenstine said.
Notably the risk will disapear over time as most of the debris will burn up as it enters the atmosphere.
(With inputs from AFP)