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Pentagon says India debris expected to burn up in atmosphere

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The Pentagon said on Thursday that it stood by its assessment that debris from an Indian anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons test would eventually burn up in the atmosphere, even after NASA's administrator warned of the danger the debris posed.

Nasa chief Jim Bridenstine last week condemned India's destruction of the satellite as a "terrible thing" that created 400 pieces of orbital debris, or "space junk".

Amid political debate on when the project was initiated, Reddy said the first discussion on the A-SAT test started in 2014 and the formal detailed presentation was made in 2016.

Since India conducted the test in Low Earth orbit, it avoided a similar scenario, Shanahan added.

Reacting to former Union Minister P Chidambaram's statement where he said that such capabilities need to be kept secret, he said, "A mission of this nature after the test is conducted can not be kept secret technically".

Speaking about the reports of a failed test in February this year before the actual test, Reddy said, "DRDO has been regularly conducting some tests with electronic targets". "We don't need any more tests at this orbit now", though he did not rule out the option of conducting more tests in the future. About 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries.

Many satellites, including the International Space Station, operate from much higher orbits. "This is a ground-based direct hit works for defence also".

On the timing of the test, Deputy National Security Adviser Pankaj Saran said it was a "technologically and scientifically driven one". India has the capacity to hit target up to 1000 km and the test was intentionally held at a lower height.

"I think there are very few countries in the world, which have space programmes bigger than us". Statement by the U.S. state department is the USA official position.

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that was a "terrible, awful thing".

On March 30, Chidambaram had taken a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing that India had demonstrated anti-satellite missile capability, saying only a "foolish government" would make such a disclosure and "betray" a defence secret.China Reacts to India's Anti-Satellite Missile Test, Says "Hope India Will Safeguard Peace in Outer Space".

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