India’s satellite destruction created so much space junk it threatens safety of the ISS

NASA is calling India’s destruction of a satellite last week a “terrible, terrible thing” and says the space debris created by the explosion should be considered a threat to the International Space Station and the astronauts on board.

India intentionally destroyed one of its satellites with a missile last week, a move Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed as one that established India “as a space power.”

But NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine told employees on Monday that it posed an “unacceptable” threat to astronauts on board the ISS.

He said the satellite shattered into pieces, many of them large enough to pose a danger to the space station but not large enough to track. It is unclear how many pieces of debris were created.

“What we are tracking right now, objects big enough to track — we’re talking about 10 cm (4 inches) or bigger —about 60 pieces have been tracked,” he said.

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