India claims space debris poses minimal threat

India claims space debris poses minimal threat

India claims space debris poses minimal threat

The press briefing was conducted to give detailed information regarding 'Mission Shakti.' DRDO chief G. Satheesh Reddy gave brief elaboration about the successful mission.

With this new feat, India became the fourth nation after the United States, Russia and China to develop ASAT that targets satellites in Low Earth Orbit.

Many satellites, including the International Space Station, operate from much higher orbits.

Elaborating further about the A-Sat test conducted on March 27, he said, "The interceptor that has been used for this goal is a three stage vehicle with two stages of solid propellant and then a kill vehicle".

In the test, the DRDO used a three-stage interceptor missile equipped with a "hit-to-kill" vehicle that was launched from its research complex off the coast of Odisha to seek and destroy an Indian satellite 283km above the Earth. "The goal was to avoid the threat of debris to any global space assets", Reddy said. Reddy added that the country has shown ground-based direct hit deterrence capability and it works for the defence also.

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"You have to have the technology not only to throw up satellites in the orbit, but also to defend them", Deputy National Security Advisor Pankaj Saran said, on the sidelines of the press conference on "Mission Shakti" here.

On Tuesday, the NASA had termed a "terrible thing" India's shooting down of one its satellites, saying the hit-to-kill mission created about 400 pieces of orbital debris. This type of debris and other similar objects are tracked and a space catalog is maintained by the Combined Space Operations Center at Vandenberg which is actually part of the US Strategic Command. The DRDO chief said that a "mission of such nature" could not have been kept a secret technically, given the numerous satellites launched by different countries orbiting in space.

Apparently under prodding from the White House, NASA, has said it will continue to cooperate with the ISRO, days after the U.S. space agency's chief criticised India and termed its anti-satellite weapon test a "terrible thing" for creating about 400 pieces of orbital debris. All the debris created by India's test would take about 45 days to decompose, he added. The mission was conceived in 2014 and development started in 2016.

He informed that amongst the scores of scientists involved in the project, around 35-40 of them were women while also asserting that around 2000 systems and sub-components of the mission were developed by 50 industries around the country.

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