Mission Shakti: ASAT debris will burn out in 6 months, says ISRO scientist dismissing NASA’s concern

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Countering the claim of NASA head Jim Bridenstine that the debris from India’s anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test has increased a collision risk to the International Space Station (ISS) by 44 per cent, Tapan Misra, senior advisor to ISRO chairman said on Tuesday that Indian scientists will not do anything to shame India and the debris from the “Mission Shakti” experiment will burn out in the next six months.

“It has happened at about 300 kilometres in space where the wind pressure is low, but it is enough to burn them (the debris) down in another six months,” Misra said.

“Knowing the ability of the Indian scientists, I am sure they have done it the right way, with all calculations and in a way that will not cause any shame to India. Because it is in the 300-kilometre range, it will dissipate much faster,” he added.

ALSO READ: Mission Shakti a ‘terrible’ thing: NASA

While addressing employees of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Tuesday, Bridenstine had said, “That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris and an apogee that goes above the international space station. That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight that we need to see have happen.”

India test-fired an anti-satellite (ASAT) missile on March 27 under Mission Shakti. The targeted satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 300 kilometres, well below the ISS and most satellites in orbit.

Misra was former director of Ahmedabad-based Space Applications Centre (SAC), a crucial arm of ISRO that is working on India’s plans for human space flight Gaganyaan.

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