Patrick Shanahan, the U.S Defense Secretary warned any nations contemplating anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons tests after India had carried out A-SAT or anti-satellite missile test on Wednesday. Patrick claimed that they make a “mess” in the space because of debris fields they leave behind.
During a visit to the US military’s Southern Command, Shanahan told the media persons in Florida that the United States was still studying the outcome of a missile India said it launched at one of its own satellites.
“My message would be: We all live in space, let’s not make it a mess. Space should be a place where we can conduct business. Space is a place where people should have the freedom to operate,” Shanahan said.
According to the experts, the anti-satellite weapons shattering their targets causes a space hazard by creating a cloud of fragments which can clash with other objects. Meanwhile, the Ministry of External Affairs has denied any risk of debris from its missile test on Wednesday and claimed the impact occurred in low-Earth orbit and that the remnants would “decay and fall back on to the Earth within weeks.”
Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn said that the Strategic Command of U.S military tracked more than 250 pieces of debris from India’s missile test which will issue “close-approach notifications as required until the debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere.”
The New Delhi government and Washington have been discussing over the matter and India has publically issued an aircraft safety advisory before the launch.
On Wednesday, NASA chief Jim Bridenstine testified before the House Appropriations Committee that the consequences of anti-satellite weapons tests could be long-lasting.
Without taking the name of India, he said, “If we wreck space, we’re not getting it back.”
After the United States, Russia, and China, India is the fourth country who has used such an anti-satellite weapon.
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