The head of NASA has called India's anti-satellite missile test a "terrible, terrible thing" that placed the International Space Station (ISS) and its astronauts at risk.
"It's unacceptable, and NASA needs to be very clear about what its impact to us is," US space agency administrator Jim Bridenstine said during a live-streamed town hall meeting on Monday.
Here are the key points from his talk:
- India's anti-satellite test on March 27 created at least 400 pieces of identifiable orbital debris
- 60 pieces were large enough to track -- being 10 cm or bigger
- Of those, 24 went above the apogee of the International Space Station
- Apogee is the point of the space station's orbit farthest from the Earth
- The test had increased the risk of small debris hitting the ISS by 44% over the 10 days immediately afterward
- It was conducted low enough that "over time, this (debris) will all dissipate"
- The ISS and its astronauts on board are safe
On March 27, India shot down its own low-orbit satellite with a ground-to-space missile, becoming one of only a small number of countries to do so.
You can read more on that here.
Bridenstine said that this "kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight."
Read what NASA chief Bridenstine said here.