After strong criticism by international authorities, Pakistan on Wednesday (April 3) expressed deep concern after India shot down a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test last. “Pakistan has noted with deep concern the assessment of relevant organisations and international experts on the threats resulting from space debris generated by the recently conducted Anti-Satellite weapon (ASAT) test by India,” a statement by the Foreign Office said.
“The reports that some of the space debris created by this test has been pushed above the apogee of the International Space Station (ISS) increasing the risk of collision are deeply worrying,” it added. “It would also be amiss to ignore the military dimension of such actions and its implications on the global and regional peace, stability and security,” it stated.
“Pakistan remains a strong proponent of non-militarisation of outer space. We will continue to work with like-minded countries to address gaps in the international legal regime governing the exploration and use of outer space with a view to ensuring that no one threatens peaceful activities and applications of space technologies for socio-economic development. In the absence of strong legal instruments, other states could also follow suit by demonstrating such capabilities,” the FO added.
India’s destruction of one of its satellites has increased the risk of collision with the International space station has increased by 44% over 10 days. But the risk will dissipate over time as much of the debris will burn up as it enters the atmosphere. The Indian satellite was destroyed at a relatively low altitude of 180 miles (300km), well below the ISS and most satellites in orbit.
But 24 of the pieces were going above the ISS, said Jim Bridenstine, head of NASA. “That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station,” he said, adding: “That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.”
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