NASA criticized India for its recent test of a missile targeting a satellite in space. The agency said the debris could hit and damage the International Space Station, CNBC reported Wednesday.
“I’m talking about small debris impacts to the International Space Station, the risk went up 44 percent over a period of 10 days,” said NASA Administrator and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Jim Bridenstine. “The good thing is, it’s low enough in Earth orbit that over time, this will all dissipate, he said.”
The missile test created at least 400 pieces of debris and 24 of the fragments reached the orbit near the ISS. Bridenstine described India’s test as a “terrible, terrible thing,” which was “not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.” Shambhu Hakki, a spokesperson for the Indian Embassy in Washington, said the test was conducted in the lower atmosphere to let the space debris fall into Earth within weeks.