Last week, India destroyed in a move that left many confused, one of its own satellites. According to a statement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this operation ("Mission Shakti") was performed using a new type of anti-satellite missile. With this one action, Modi claimed that India had "established itself as a spatial", effectively joining the United States, Russia and China.
Unfortunately, this demonstration has created a cloud of orbital remains in Low Earth Orbit (LEO). According to a recent statement by NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine, this waste poses an "unacceptable" threat to the international space station. In that sense, India can, by bending its muscle as a spacecraft, have caused a serious disturbance to the international effort in space.
Bridenstine made the statement during an agency-wide town hall meeting, which took place on Monday, April 1, at NASA's headquarters in Washington, DC. While discussing issues related to NASA's renewed moon study and possible crew missions to Mars, Bridenstine was asked how the missile test could affect NASA's efforts and the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) astronauts.
"It is absolutely true that deliberately creating orbital wrecks are not compatible with human spaceflight," he replied to Patrick Murphy of NASA's space mission, which is the subject of the subject. He then proceeded to describe what NASA currently knows about the missile test and the waste area that resulted:
"We know we have identified 400 pieces of dirt from one orbital event. That's what has been identified. What we are tracking right now, objects are big enough to track – we're talking about 10 inches [~4 inches] or bigger – about 60 pieces have been tracked. In other words, we have a tracking number and we can keep We know where they are. Of these 60, we know that 24 of them go over the international space station's assault. "
These actions, he claimed, are" a terrible, horrible thing "and are antithetical to what NASA and other room agencies are committed to – which is the commercialization of LEO. Between the proliferation of commercial space stations, internet and research satellites, and micro-gravity studies, there is no shortage of interests that would be threatened by this type of military trial.
Bridenstine also stated that they continue to monitor the cleaning field and learn more about it and the risks it poses on an hourly basis. Based on assessments made by NASA experts and the Combined Space Operation Center (CSpOC) last week, Bridenstine claimed that the risk of ISS collisions had increased by% 44 over a period of just ten days.
Worse than this is the threat of escalation, Bridenstine said, where a nation participating in such tests would encourage others to do the same. This is in contrast to recent comments by space scientist Ajay Lele, who expressed his thoughts on the anti-satellite test in an interview last week with the state-owned Indian media network Doordarshan:
"India has demonstrated a deterrent ability. It is unlikely that India would have raised ancestry to any other country at this stage … An outer space treaty does not allow the use of weapons of mass destruction in space. A similar test from China in 2007 has left a lot of dirt still floating around. "
This same incident has probably been mentioned by Bridenstine as an example of how anti-satellites missile tests are unacceptable, as they create a lasting problem with space waste. "You go back in time [to] 2007," he said, "fight the anti-satellite test of the Chinese, all that orbital waste is – not all – but much of it is still in circulation and we" are still dealing with "The bottom line, according to Bridenstine, is that this kind of behavior is unacceptable and completely inimitable to LEO's peaceful development. It is also a burden for NASA," he said, responsible for conducting space awareness and traffic management analysis. for the whole world, a service that it provides for free:
[W] I do this for free – compliments of the taxpayer in the United States America – [for] an orbital waste created by another country, why do we it as a nation? Because it is the right thing to do because we want to preserve the space environment. "
This is consistent with STMD's responsibilities as outlined by Framework Directive Three – issued in June 2018. This directive, for the first time in history, has tasks NASA developing the technologies and capabilities that will ultimately ensure that these debris clouds can be traced more closely in the future.
One of the main goals here is to separate synthesis from tracking efforts currently performed by public entities such as the US Air Force (USAF) and the US Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM). These efforts will in future be monitored by the US Commerce Department, as the focus has historically shifted from securing national security to promoting economic development.
"NASA has a role to play here," Bridenstine concluded. "Especially when it comes to protecting our astronauts' lives … we are the only agency in the federal government that has human lives at stake here, and it is not acceptable for us to let people create orbital waste areas that put our people."
"By this, while the risk increased up% 44, our astronauts are still safe, [ISS] is still safe. If we are to maneuver it, we will. The likelihood that I believe is low. But in end of day, these activities are not compatible or sustainable with human space travel. "
India has made some very significant progress in recent years. These include the spread of Mangalayaan spacecraft – aka. Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) – which became the first robot mission to reach orbit Mars on first attempt. Later, India introduced a new record for the number of satellites launched as part of a single mission (104).
This was followed by the announcement that India would send three astronauts to the space by 2022, and to reveal the suits they would use for the mission. These and other developments illustrate how far India has come as a nation and reflects its desire to become the fourth major spacecraft in the world.
However, India's recent actions, like India, show how national space programs still have a certain militaristic edge to them. Between the United States, Russia, China and India, all the major achievements of the last 70 years were linked to the development of rocket systems designed to deliver nuclear payloads.
But the concept of military competition in space is a past century and must be obsolete. What is now needed more than ever and what has been achieved in many respects is a spirit of cooperation in space and the peaceful development of its resources. As programs such as ISS, appropriately show what influences affect everyone.
Like the moon sign delivered to the Moon's surface by the Apollo 11 crew members, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon, July 1969 AD. We came to peace for all mankind." War was a time of immense competition, the era of separate fate in space has run its course.  Read more: Business Insider