NASA says 49 debris from A-Sat test still in space, Indian missile expert slams report

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  1. According to NASA’s latest orbital debris quarterly news, 49 debris from India’s Mission Shakti remain on orbit as of July 15th. The report has however been rejected by India’s missile experts.
  2. Mission Shakti was an Anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test conducted by India in March 2019. The Mission was carried out by shooting down Microsat-R with a modified exo-atmospheric missile of the ballistic missile defence at an altitude of 300 km. Microsat-R is a imaging satellite which was launched by ISRO using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) in January 2019.
  3. Space debris are artificial material that is orbiting Earth but is no longer functional. They consists of dead satellites, spent rocket motors, nuts and bolts etc. Space debris is a threat to active satellites and spaceships as they pose risk of collisions.
  4. According to Space-track website, in total, 14,520 debris and 5165 functional and non-functional satellites are currently in space. India currently has 96 functional and non-functional satellites in space and 173 species of trackable debris. USA has 4,804 debris and 1791 functional and non-functional satellites.