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‘Terrible and Unacceptable’: NASA Chief Slams India Over Anti-Satellite Missile Test

India’s anti-satellite missile test has resulted in 400 pieces of orbital debris, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration chief Jim Bridenstine said on Tuesday.

Bridenstine said that 60 of the 400 pieces were too large to track and that 24 went above the apogee of the ISS, the point of the space station’s orbit farthest from the Earth.

“That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station,” he was quoted as saying by CNN. He added that such activity was incompatible with the future of human spaceflight.

He said that NASA would not allow such activities that create debris and put at risk the lives of people. Bridenstine said that India’s test has increased the possibility of small debris hitting ISS by 44% and it was unacceptable.

India Tests Anti-Satellite Missile

The NASA chief said that they have increased activities in space for the welfare of humanity e.g. pharmaceuticals or printing human organs in 3-D to save lives here on Earth but such activities (Indian missile testing) puts everything at risk.

“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.”

A third of all debris categorized by NASA was created on two previous occasions. First, when China conducted anti-satellite missile tests in 2007, and when American and Russian satellites collided in 2009.

On March 27, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India has ‘created history’ by successfully hitting its own low orbit satellite with a ground-to-space missile.

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