Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief G. Satheesh Reddy has allayed the concerns expressed by NASA on debris by India’ Anti-Satellite missile test ‘Mission Shakti’ hitting the International Space Station stating that debris produced as a result of the test will decay within 45 days.
He asserted that the Mission has been designed to see that debris decays very fast and it has been designed in a manner that minimal debris goes up. “NASA chief administrator said that there is a risk for 10 days and we have already crossed the 10 days since Mission Shakti. Some part of the debris has decayed already. All the debris will decay within 45 days (from the date of the test),” Reddy added.
India’s recent test of anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile has been termed as “a terrible, terrible thing” by NASA chief Jim Bridenstine, who said that it is estimated that the risk to the ISS has increased by 44 per cent over the last ten days. It also said that the missile that shot down the satellite reportedly created at least 400 pieces of orbital debris, including 60 larger than 6-inch in size.
The DRDO chief also said that the interceptor missile used in “Mission Shakti” has a range of more than 1000km but the interception was deliberately done at a range of 283km to ensure the safety of space assets.
“Even though the interceptor has the capability to intercept at the altitudes of more than 1000km, it has been very specifically designed to have an interception below 300 km to ensure the safety of space assets and also that debris there decays very fast,” he said.
He also 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.”