'A bad thing': India's destruction of satellite threatens ISS, says NASA

India put Int'l Space Station at risk by shooting down satellite NASA

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said while the risk of the ISS went up 44 per cent the astronauts are still safe. File

Even a relatively small piece of space debris can cause huge problems for astronauts aboard the ISS as well as those embarking on later missions that will take them out of Earth's atmosphere.

"This is a bad, awful thing" is how NASA has reacted to the "dangers" that the so-called Indian missile feat has caused to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Creating debris in orbit is a "terrible, bad thing", Bridenstine said at a live-streamed town hall meeting.

"At the end of the day, these activities are not sustainable or compatible with human spaceflight".

"Some time back, our scientists have hit a live satellite 300 km away in low-Earth orbit", Modi said, "India registered its name as a space power".

"The amount of debris which the United States itself has created in space is big as compared to a few pieces of debris from the Indian test".

"We have identified as 400 pieces of debris from that one event".

What was bragged as a proud moment for India last week by its Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, has turned out to be a global shame.

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As part of the announcement, the agency also said that the first crewed test flight of Starliner to the International Space Station-which theoretically could come before the end of 2019, but now seems doubtful-will be of extended duration.

"What we're tracking right now - objects big enough to track, we're talking about 10 centimeters or bigger - about 60 pieces have been tracked", said Bridenstine, referring to the fallout of the Indian space test.

Laura Grego from the Union of Concerned Scientists said the almost 2,000 satellites now in orbit are put at risk by such tests. India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said it kept in mind concerns related to debris in space.

Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made it clear that it has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space and the scaling up defence capability to enter the super league of the US, China and Russian Federation is not aimed against anyone, Pakistan still remains a anxious and strong proponent of non-militarisation of outer space.

"India stands tall as a space power!" It is tracking 23,000 objects larger than 10cm. "Whatever debris is generated will decay and fall back onto the Earth within weeks".

India has always been against arms race in space and there has been no change in this policy.

Astronomer Jonathan McDowell from the prestigious Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics had said India acted in a less irresponsible manner than the Chinese in doing the test. "All of those are placed at risk when these kind of events happen - and when one country does it, then other countries feel like they have to do it as well".

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