‘Debris from ASAT test poses no threat, will eventually burn up’: Pentagon

On the issue of weaponisation of space, the DRDO chief said it is a decision the government has to take.

"There was a risk for 10 days and we have crossed that period", he told a press conference. "Some of the debris have already decayed". Further, Reddy noted that the debris caused by the mission will decay within 45 days.

Earlier, Reddy said that India's satellite hit poses no threat to International Space Station (ISS) as first claimed by NASA.

The DRDO chief also said that the interceptor missile used in "Mission Shakti" has a range of more than 1000km but the interception was deliberately done at a range of 283km to ensure the safety of space assets.

On March 27, the DRDO successfully blew up Indian satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), up to 300 km.

For the first test mission, slated for 2024, the company wants to dismantle SwissCube, a nanosatellite developed by students from EPFL and other Swiss universities and launched on 23 September 2009. The challenge in the mission is the hit to kill mechanism which has to be very very good.

The Indian satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 300 kilometres -120 kilometres below the ISS and most orbiting satellites. That sort of action isn't compatible with the future of human spaceflight that we must see have happened, he'd stated.

Since India conducted the test in Low Earth orbit, it avoided a similar scenario, Shanahan added.

He also responded to a question on Congress leader P Chidambaram's criticism of the government on the test, who had said that "only a foolish government" would reveal a defence secret.

With 830 satellites, USA leads the world in the number of satellites, followed by China with 280 satellites. "We have demonstrated that".

Nearly all the technologies used for the ASAT test were indigenously developed with some 50 industries contributing components for the 13 metre missiles weighing 19 tonnes.

An audio-visual played during the event said that the seeds of the "A-Sat test" were sown in 2014 when Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked the DRDO to work on critical technologies and the final go-ahead was given in 2016. China performed a similar test in 2007, and that test is said to have created almost a third of all debris that NASA is tracking. Some 150 scientists worked round-the-clock and some 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries. India became the fourth country to join the club. Moreover, the International Space Station was not directly above the collision spot but in an orbit above the North Atlantic Ocean, over French Guyana, when India's ASAT test took place over the Bay of Bengal, Reddy said.

Asked if India has informed United States of America or other nations about the test, Saran admitted that India was "in touch" with other space powers. We are against arms raised in space.

"If you are talking of the U.S., we have a response from four-five United States agencies".


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