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Indian Space Debris

  • 22 Aug 2019
  • 2 min read

According to the latest assessment of space debris by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), out of the 101 pieces of debris (big enough to be tracked) created by India’s Anti-Satellite System(A-SAT) test, 49 continued to remain in orbit.

  • It is possible that more pieces, smaller ones, created from the test, are floating around but were not being tracked.
  • It has been estimated that nearly 400 pieces were created from India’s test.
  • After the test, India had said that, since the test was carried out in the lower atmosphere, it did not expect to add any significant amount of space debris.
    • Whatever debris is generated will decay and fall back on to the earth within weeks.
  • The report is the first credible estimation in public domain of the amount of debris created by India’s anti-satellite test (conducted on 27th March, 2019) and what remains of it four months down the line.
  • India had 97 functional, and non-functional but intact satellites in space as on 30th June 2019 , and 157 pieces of trackable space debris, including fragments of rockets that become junk after delivering their payloads in their specified orbits.
    • This is a very small proportion of the total of 19,404 large objects in space sent by all countries, of which 14,432 are debris and junk parts of used rockets.

India’s Anti-Satellite Test

  • India had shot down its 740-kg Microsat-R satellite on 27th March, 2019 in a demonstration of its capability to destroy a space-based infrastructure of an enemy country.
  • That anti-satellite test made India, only the fourth country in the world, to have demonstrated such capability.

Source: IE

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