Debris from anti-satellite test no danger to ISS, India says

"We don't need any more tests at this orbit now", though he did not rule out the option of conducting more tests in the future. All critical technologies for the test were developed indigenously and about 90% of the entire test in indigenous, Dr. Reddy added.

He also clarified that a test done on 12 February was not an ASAT test, but a ballistic missile that was used to take out an electronic target - in response to media reports that the 12 February test was also an ASAT test that failed.

On various responses by the U.S. on India's anti-satellite launch, including the one by NASA administrator James Bridenstine terming it a "terrible thing", Saran said New Delhi treats the State Department statement as official and drew attention to report that NASA has conveyed that it is continuing with ongoing cooperation with India on space including on human space flight mission. NASA had warned that the risk of debris colliding with the International Space Station has risen by 44 per cent since the Indian anti-satellite weapon test. India Becomes Elite Space Power With Successful "Mission Shakti" Test.

Reddy further said, "The complete mission what we have defined is automatic and without human intervention anywhere because the precision with which you have to launch are very high and so the launch computer takes care of it".

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Bridenstine and other space experts also said the risk from the Indian debris would dissipate as much of it would burn up as it entered the atmosphere. "Our simulations show all debris will decay in 45 days", he added.

Reddy also responded to criticism by former home minister P Chidambaram, who had faulted the government for making India's ASAT capability public. "Space debris is composed of satellites, parts of launch vehicles, etc. Best way of defence is to have deterrence". "This is a ground-based direct hit works for defence also".

Some 150 scientists, including at least 40 women scientists, worked round-the-clock, and especially in the last six months on this project. However, India had already achieved the capability of shooting out moving targets in the space, way back in 2011 and has been testing long-range missiles for years.

  • Douglas Reid