‘All debris to decay in 45 days’: DRDO chief on Mission Shakti

ASAT test poses no threat to ISS DRDO chief

"The ASAT interceptor had the capability to intercept satellites higher than 1,000 kilometres (km), but the mission was planned at the lowest possible orbit of less than 300 km, well below the orbit of other space objects to avoid the threat of debris", said.

NASA head Jim Bridenstine criticized India for the weapon test stating that NASA had identified 400 pieces of orbital debris and was tracking 60 pieces that are larger than 10cm in diameter.

"Even though the interceptor has the capability to intercept at the altitudes of more than 1000km, it has been very specifically created to have an interception below 300 km to ensure the safety of space assets and also that debris there decays very fast", he said. Some part of the debris has decayed already. The DRDO chief said that all the debris should be dissolved within 45 days.

He said the target for the A-SAT test was launched in January specifically for the same. The very military nature of the test led to this secrecy and the scattering of unidentified space junk in orbit.

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On the issue of militarisation of space, Dr. Reddy said space had gained importance in the military domain. "Best way of defence is to have deterrence".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Wednesday (March 27) announced that India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite missile by shooting down a live satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of elite space super-powers.

He informed that amongst the scores of scientists involved in the project, around 35-40 of them were women while also asserting that around 2000 systems and sub-components of the mission were developed by 50 industries around the country.

The DRDO chief said the weapon has boosted the country's defence.

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Deputy National Security Advisor Pankaj Saran, who also addressed the media, pointed out that multiple statements from the U.S. were incorrectly conveying the impression that Washington was critical towards Mission Shakti.

Bridenstine made the comments on Monday while speaking to NASA employees at a town hall meeting, reports Space. "That is what we are basing our responses on", said Saran. "We have had several statements from the USA, as far as India is concerned the official position is contained in the State Department statement".

Sources said the American space agency has apparently under prodding from the White House.

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