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Space junk risk from flooded Shakti mission



ASAT test: The test increased the risk for the ISS by over 40 percent, said the head of NASA (File Photo)

New Delhi:

India's successful test of an anti-satellite rocket (ASAT) Last month, when he launched a satellite in space, he encountered mixed reactions internationally. While Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the test code-named "Mission Shakti," a "great moment for India," US space agency NASA called the test a "horrible thing." The test had produced several space debris and posed a danger to astronauts aboard the International Space Station or the ISS, said Jim Bridenstine, head of NASA. The test increased the risk for the ISS by over 40 percent, said Bridenstine.

The head of NASA said that about 400 orbital debris were created, of which 60 debris have been tracked so far. While Indian officials said the satellite had been destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 300 kilometers to minimize the impact of space debris, Bridenstine said that 24 of the pieces "are above the height of the International Space Station ISS".

NASA Appeal Astronaut Wing Commander (Retd) Rakesh Sharma downplayed the risk to the ISS in response to an "overreaction". "I do not think the risk factor has significantly increased," said Wing Commander Sharma, who in 1

984 was the first Indian to venture into space.

Wing Commander Sharma was part of Russia (formerly the USSR). Space mission Soyuz T-11. The expedition was launched on April 2, 1984 and spent nearly eight days in space.

In an interview with NDTV, Wing Commander Sharma answered the question of how much space debris threatened the International Space Station's astronauts.

] Q) What was your first reaction when you heard about India's ASAT test last month?

A: When I was aware of our Ballistic Missile Development (BMD) and the successful Integrated Guided Missile Development Program (IGMDP), I was surprised by the Anti-Satellite Weapon Tests (ASAT). I was not aware of the progress that we had made in targeting and leading up to the impact phases of this technology. In short, the news filled me with pride because I knew that the performance was tremendous from a technological point of view.

Q: Was this a necessary step? a step in the right direction for India?

A: Yes and yes. We now have the ability to deal with the "evil eye" in space.

Q) Does this lead to a weapon of space?

A: It is a weapon of defense.

Q) Was a direct ascent hit-to-kill test the best alternative, or would a laser weapon or jamming have been better?

A: We first need to cut teeth weapons before we move on to more sophisticated ones. Let's hope warfare goes out of fashion (because it's bad business) before we need to go up the escalation ladder.

Q) If you were an astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS), would you be more concerned about ASAT? Does the test increase the risk?

A: I do not think the risk factor has increased significantly. The test was carried out a good 100 km below the orbit of the ISS. Micrometeorites and solar flares are always dangers and part of the hostile environment in which regularly manned space activities are undertaken. The likelihood that debris will be thrown 100 km above the height of the test waste is small, if any.

Q) Did the head of NASA overreact when he described India's test as a "terrible thing"?

A: I think so. I did not hear that another Member State was working on the ISS, expressing a similar feeling.

F) Performs & # 39; Mission Shakti & # 39; to a safer India and will we be able to protect India's space resources more robustly now?

A: Undoubtedly.

Q) What should be the next step, more ASAT tests or the development of a space science?

A: I do not think more tests It would be necessary to operationalize the system based on this type of technology. As for space theory, it is quite certain (there should be one);

Q) Has India secured a seat at the "bar table" to negotiate how space will be used in the future?

A: Securing your seat at the "high table" is one thing, and I believe the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had a place on it some time ago. However, I think that we are able to come to this table and make our voices heard as we negotiate international policy on the peaceful use of space.

F) Can & # 39; Mission Shakti & # 39; and Gaganyaan both go hand in hand, or are we jeopardizing our astronaut program?

A: I do not see a conflict here. Funding restrictions are unlikely. Allocations have already been made. If you point out the denial of training facilities for our gaganauts abroad, this is unlikely. In the worst case, it could delay the Gaganyaan project, not derail.

Q) Does India now need a full-fledged "Space Command"?

A: It does; as urgently as it needed a chief of the defense staff. I guess the National Security Advisor (NSA) and its newly formed Defense Planning Committee will now be tasked with setting it up because it does not blame the Chief of Defense for the security of our country.

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