Now, US defends ASAT test, says India is concerned over 'threats' in space

Now, US defends ASAT test, says India is concerned over
Highlights

The test made India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to have the ASAT capabilities.

WASHINGTON: India is concerned about the "threats" it faces in space, the Pentagon has said, defending the country for acquiring anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test capabilities.

On March 27, India achieved a historic feat by shooting down its own low-orbit satellite with a ground-to-space missile, making the country a space power.

The test made India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to have the ASAT capabilities.

"The first lesson from the Indian ASAT is just the simple question of why did they do that. And the answer should be, I think to all the committee looking at it, is that they did that because they are concerned about threats to their nation from space," US Strategic Command Commander General John E Hyten told members of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

"And therefore, they feel they have to have a capability to defend themselves in space," Hyten told Senate Armed Services Committee while responding to a question from Senators on the need for India to do anti-satellite missile test, and the debris it generated in the space.

After India's test, NASA termed as a "terrible thing" the country's shooting down of one of its satellites, saying it created about 400 pieces of orbital debris, endangering the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine had said about 60 pieces were tracked and out of which 24 are going above the apogee of the ISS.

Hyten advocated for the development of some kind of international norms of behaviour in space.

"And where those norms of behaviour should begin, in my opinion, is with debris, because as the combatant commander responsible for space today, I don't want more debris," said the top Pentagon commander.

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