NASA attacks India’s ‘terrible’ space weapon test

NASA chief Jim Bridenstine mentioned India’s latest anti-satellite missile test was a “terrible thing” as a result of it has created harmful space particles – regardless of the US being one of many main orbital litterers.

Creating particles in orbit is a “terrible, terrible thing,” Bridenstine mentioned at a live-streamed city corridor assembly. India’s test in late March of an anti-satellite weapon created 400 of such floating objects, of which 60 are massive sufficient for NASA to trace, and 24 are flying above the very best factors of the International Space Station’s orbit.

“That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight,” Bridenstine chided, saying India’s just-dumped space junk has elevated the danger to the ISS by 44 p.c.

But the newest 60 trackable bits characterize a tiny quantity in comparison with the whole of 21,000 items bigger than 10cm that NASA is already watching. A third of those have been created in earlier anti-satellite weapons checks by Russia, China and the US itself.

“It is certainly hypocritical for the US to complain for the reason that Pentagon has created extra space particles than some other nation on the planet,” says Bruce Okay. Gagnon, coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.

Despite Bridenstine’s condemnation and the Pentagon’s earlier name to “not make a mess” in space, there gained’t be any actual penalties for India, Gagnon believes, as a result of the US wants a space-warfare-capable India to nook China.

In reality, the US seems to truly be “encouraging India to militarize and weaponize space to help Washington encircle China – knowing that India and China have long had tensions,” he mentioned.

The particles created by the Indian test can have a a lot much less lasting impression on orbital security than those the opposite space powers have left behind, says Brahma Chellaney, Professor of Strategic Studies on the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi.

“The debris from the Indian test, because it is in low orbit, will burn and fall back onto the Earth in the coming months, if not weeks. But the debris from the US and Chinese actions will persist for many years,”

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