Post-ASAT, India sees role in drafting space laws

Pentagon says India debris expected to burn up in atmosphere
Swiss start-up embarks on space cleaning mission

07 April, 2019

The Pentagon on Thursday (April 4) stated that it stood by Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan's assessment last week that debris from an Indian anti-satellite weapons test would eventually burn up in the atmosphere, despite a subsequent, more negative assessment by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This is because this results in the generation of debris which will remain for a long time and later may have cascading effects. "And this has been proven true, even NASA spoke about a 10-day risk period that is over today", he 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.

"The Indian interceptor had the capability to target a satellite at a height of 1,000 km but a low earth satellite was chosen to avoid (formation of) debris", DRDO chairman G. Sateesh Reddy told reporters in New Delhi.

The risk analysis simulation based on an internationally accepted software also showed that there was no threat to the space station. That sort of action isn't compatible with the future of human spaceflight that we must see have happened, he'd stated.

Commenting on P Chidambaram's statement on Mission Shakti, Reddy said that a mission of this nature can't be kept secret.

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Since India conducted the test in Low Earth orbit, it avoided a similar scenario, Shanahan added. Reddy said the Indian test was created to ensure minimum debris. Only the United States, Russia and China had previously carried out successful anti-satellite missile strikes in space. "All debris should decay within 45 days from March 27", said Reddy.

Cleaning up space is the mission of a new Swiss start-up, ClearSpace, which will capitalise on technology developed by engineers at The Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL).

On March 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a televised address to the nation, announced that India has entered the elite club of nations to possess the capability to hit a target in space.

These includes about 10,000 pieces of space debris, of which almost 3,000 were created by a Chinese anti-satellite test.

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