US says India's ASAT satellite debris expected to burn up in atmosphere


On March 27, India achieved a magnificent feat by shooting down its own low-orbit satellite with a ground-to-space missile.

"An orbit of around 300km was chosen for the test for capability demonstration, and the goal was to avoid threat of debris to any global space assets", Reddy said. "It was intentionally done at 280 km altitude so that debris decay fast", Dr. Reddy said, adding that the interception was created to hit at an angle so that minimal debris go up and also have minimal velocity.

Reacting to former Union Minister P Chidambaram's statement where he said that such capabilities need to be kept secret, he said, "A mission of this nature after the test is conducted can not be kept secret technically".

At a press conference Saturday, the Defence Research and Development Organisation also said any decision on weaponisation of space would be taken by the government.

He also said that earlier in the day there was a meeting with eminent scientists to inform them about the A-SAT test.

"That is a bad, awful thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station [ISS]". Troublingly, some of these pieces have reportedly entered into orbits equal to or higher than the International Space Station, potentially putting the base at risk. That sort of action isn't compatible with the future of human spaceflight that we must see have happened, he'd stated.

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"An orbit of around 300 km was chosen for the test for capability demonstration and the goal was to avoid threat of debris to any global space assets", Reddy said.

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

He said the first 10 days since the test were critical and that have passed, and in 45 days all debris will disintegrate.

The test of the anti-satellite weapon makes India the fourth country to have carried out such a test.

Explaining the strategic importance of the test, Reddy said India had demonstrated that it possessed the capability to intercept and kill a satellite - which acted as a deterrent vis a vis other countries.

India said on Saturday it is looking to play a role in drafting worldwide laws on different aspects of outer space as a major space faring nation with proven technology such as ground-based direct hit deterrence capability. About 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries.