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ISS Astronauts at Risk After India Blows Up a Satellite

ISS Astronauts at Risk After India Blows Up a Satellite

Bridenstine also claimed that NASA's analysis showed that the threat to ISS from possible collisions had increased by 44 per cent without explaining how he came up with the number.

On the ASAT test, Mr Bridenstine had said, "It's unacceptable.That is a bad, awful thing to create an event that sends debris in an apogee that goes above the International Space Station (ISS)".

Mr Bridenstine said that it was true that this would eventually happen.

"America will once again astonish the world with the heights we reach and the wonders we achieve, and we will lead the world in human space exploration once again", he said at a meeting of the National Space Council in Huntsville, Alabama.

"The issue of space debris, that is an important concern for the United States, and I would say that we took note of the Indian Government's statements that the test was created to address space debris issues", Palladino said.

The NASA chief said orbital space debris threatens not only space travel, but scientific advancements. Other debris pieces have been identified but not yet tracked, which means they could collide with the ISS without warning.

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The Foreign Office also laid stress that this ASAT test should be a matter of grave concern for the global community not only in terms of generation of space debris but also because of its ramifications for long term sustainability of peaceful space activities. According to the space agency, Boeing is now aiming for an August date for its initial uncrewed Orbital Flight Test, though NASA cautions this is a "working date" and subject to change.

"India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space", said the statement.

Last week, the anti-satellite missile test lasted for only three minutes but it was enough for one of the satellites of India to be shot down, this being a proof that the technology that would be needed for the country to participate in possible future confrontations in space has been acquired. It is tracking 23,000 objects larger than 10cm. "Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back on to the Earth within weeks", it said.

"Destroying satellites orbiting in altitude bands that are heavily used for both military and civil satellites also can have ripple effects, producing risky clouds of debris that could stay in orbit for decades or centuries, disabling or destroying any satellites they collide with", said Grego in a statement. When those objects collide with one another, they create even more - and potentially still risky - debris.

The missile test was celebrated in India but also drew criticism because it was announced by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, while the government is supposed to be in caretaker mode before elections starting this month.