News: Indian Anti-Satellite Missile Test Fails Horribly
by Nikolas Molina
On March 27th, 2019, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, announced that the country had successfully launched an Anti-Satellite missile in Low Earth Orbit (LEO).
India was the fourth country to use an Anti-Satellite weapon, according to TNW.
Thankfully, this test on the satellite was not aimed for anyone and also did not violate any international laws.
According to NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, the test created 60 pieces of debris in space, that are mostly greater than 10 centimeters.
“That is a terrible, terrible thing, to create an event that sends debris in an apogee that goes above the International Space Station,” stated Bridenstine to NBC.
The debris from this test can cause danger to the ISS (International Space Station), the fellow humans living on it and all the experiments taken place in space.
“We are charged with commercializing Low Earth Orbit; we are charged with enabling more activities in space than we’ve ever seen before for the purpose of benefiting the human condition. 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,” continued Bridenstine.
Bridenstine said that NASA has identified around 400 pieces of orbital debris from the test, including the 60 pieces greater than 10 centimeters in diameter that the agency can track and 24 that have traveled through the space station’s orbital height.
The 24 pieces that have traveled through the height of the ISS has risen the risk of the ISS of being hit by debris by 44 percent.
Bridenstine confirmed that the astronauts will be safe and if anything happens they can move the ISS to avoid damage.
TNW reported the response of Tapan Misra, senior advisor to the ISRO chairman, saying Tuesday that the experiment was not an explosion, but “more like a bullet,” and that the resulting debris will burn out in six months because it was only 300 kilometers in space.
Daniel Porras, the space security fellow at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research, talks about a Chinese demonstration in 2007, where much of the debris from that test is still in space.
“The Chinese demonstration was carried out at 800 kilometers and was widely condemned because of the resulting space debris, which will likely stay in orbit for decades or longer. India’s demonstration was conducted at 300 kilometers, so the debris will likely be out of orbit in months. For this reason, the reaction has been much less,” reported TNW.
India’s test has annoyed a lot of agencies and governments. Although there is no consequences of this test, the view of India being a peaceful country while trying to make scientific advances has taken a blow.