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PostPosted: Wed Apr 03, 2019 10:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 09, 2006 11:05 am
Posts: 5163
Location: Lancashire
In 2007, China launched and tested an anti-satellite rocket by destroying one of its own satellites in orbit. There was wide condemnation, as the test produced a debris field of 35,000 pieces, posing a threat to other satellites. A Russian satellite was reported to have been damaged by the test. Previous to China's test, America and Russia had done their own anti-satellite tests.
Now India has conducted a similar test, mission Shakti, by knocking out its Microsat-R satellite. It's been reported that a debris field of some 6,500 pieces larger than 0.5cm has resulted. Last week, India's Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, announced that India was now a "space power".
Nasa administrator, Jim Bridenstein, said that over a period of 10 days, the risk of a collision with the ISS ( International Space Station ) increased by 44%. Some pieces of debris 10cm or bigger, have gone above the apogee of the ISS, a situation that Bridenstein described as a "terrible, terrible thing". He said: "It is not acceptable for us to allow people to create orbital debris fields that put our people at risk." Nasa has so far tracked 400 bits of orbital debris from the test.
India's ministry for external affairs claimed that the risk from debris was low: "Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back on earth within weeks," it said. See today's http://www.spaceweather.com .

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