The Indian satellite test was a "terrible thing" that created debris and vulnerable astronauts aboard the International Space Station
- Jim Bridenstein, head of NASA, described the destruction of India as "unacceptable"
- He said that 400 pieces of space debris had been created, 24 of which threatened the ISS
- India destroyed one of its own satellites with a ballistic missile last week
- Prime Minister Modi said it was a major technological breakthrough for his country
NASA has told India that blasting its own satellite with a ballistic missile was a "terrible thing" that produced 400 pieces of space debris.
NASA head Jim Bridenstine said some of the debris was now moving toward the International Space Station, posing a risk to astronauts aboard.
Bridenstine said the blast produced 60 pieces of debris large enough to track them – that is, 10 cm (6 inches) or more – and 24 of them move to a position where they could jeopardize the ISS.
NASA head Jim Bridenstein has beaten India's mission to blow up one of its own satellites as a "terrible thing" that is jeopardizing the International Space Station
Last week, India launched a ballistic missile that successfully destroyed a satellite and became one of the few countries to possess this technology
"This is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event where an Apogee going through the International Space Station sends out debris," he said.
"This kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.
"It's unacceptable, and NASA needs to be very clear about its impact on us."
The US military tracks space objects to predict collision risk for the ISS and satellites. They currently track 23,000 objects that are larger than 10 centimeters.
According to the Indian test, the collision risk with the ISS has increased by 44 percent in ten days, said Bridenstine.
However, the risk is reduced over time as most of the deposits are burned when entering the atmosphere.
India announced last week that it had used a ballistic missile interceptor to destroy one of its own satellites at an altitude of 300 km. This is an attempt to strengthen the defense in space.
Only a few satellites operate at a height of 300 km, experts say that the collision debris will fall back to earth and burn in the atmosphere in a few weeks instead of jeopardizing other satellites.
"That's why we did it at a lower level, it will disappear in no time," said Indian Defense Research and Development Organization head G. Satheesh Reddy in an interview with Reuters.
America is currently tracking 23,000 pieces of space debris larger than 10 cm (6ins) – the smallest that can be detected – and say the Indian test has added at least 60 objects of this size
"The rubble is moving now. How much debris we try to find out, but according to our calculations, it should die within 45 days. & # 39;
In 2007, China destroyed a satellite in a polar orbit and produced the largest orbital cloud in history, with more than 3,000 objects, according to the Secure World Foundation.
Since the impact altitude exceeded 800 km (500 miles), many of the resulting waste remained in orbit.
Critics say that technologies known to be owned only by the United States, Russia and China open up the prospect of an arms race in space and pose a threat as they create a cloud of fragments that last for years could persist.
Shanahan said the Indian test was a reminder of how space was increasingly fought over and underlined the need to create a space command – a stepping-stone towards President Donald Trump's goal of creating a space force.
& # 39; It really speaks: Why do we have to get up Space Command? Remember the importance of rules for engagement, authorities, tactics, techniques and procedures, "Shanahan said.