On April 2 the head of NASA said that the destruction of one of its satellites by India under Mission Shakti was a ‘terrible thing’. It had resulted in 400 pieces of orbital debris endangering astronauts aboard the International Space Station [ISS].
NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agency had identified ‘400 pieces of orbital debris’ after India shot down a microsatellite. ‘That’s what has been identified, but all of that cannot be tracked. We are tracking about 60 pieces right now- these are objects that are 10cm or bigger. Of these 60, we know that 24 of them are going above the apogee of the International Space Station’, he said. He also called this a ‘terrible’ thing and said that this was ‘unacceptable’ as it has increased the dangers for those aboard the ISS by 44 percent.
This report comes days after Narendra Modi announced that India had successfully tested an anti satellite missile and had destroyed a low orbiting microsatellite.