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Thread: Oopsie -- Indian ASAT test endangers ISS

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    Exclamation Oopsie -- Indian ASAT test endangers ISS

    Wasn't this in the movie Gravity?

    https://phys.org/news/2019-04-indian...es-debris.html
    Indian satellite destruction created 400 pieces of debris, endangering ISS: NASA
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    At least they didn't do a test at 860km altitude *cough*...

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    Yes, these are on fairly elliptical orbits, with a low perigee, so the increased collision risk is measured in weeks as orbits will decay, and ISS has some options if things get close. Still, risky move there, India. I would expect their experts understood the issue, but were overruled by higher ups.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Yes, these are on fairly elliptical orbits, with a low perigee, so the increased collision risk is measured in weeks as orbits will decay, and ISS has some options if things get close. Still, risky move there, India. I would expect their experts understood the issue, but were overruled by higher ups.
    I would think the "we're(India) a space power player overrode any other consideration.
    Last edited by bknight; 2019-Apr-03 at 06:35 PM. Reason: Clarify

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    I find it ironical that the US is condaming India's ASAT test when they themselves have tested that capability several times. 1st time 60 years ago.. Has any one here have any idea of the the amount of debris these test created and how many are still orbiting.
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    It was all low earth orbit, so none of it would still be orbiting today. And especially the first ones were done in a time where the debris had pretty much zero change of hitting something of importance during its orbital life, as there was nothing else up there. Today is a different situation, low earth orbit is a busy place.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    I find it ironical that the US is condaming India's ASAT test when they themselves have tested that capability several times. 1st time 60 years ago.. Has any one here have any idea of the the amount of debris these test created and how many are still orbiting.
    There was some from the 1985 and 2008 tests, but all gone now. The especially nasty one was China’s higher altitude 2007 test, thousands of pieces of debris will be orbiting for decades at least. The US 2008 test was at least in part a response to the Chinese test, though at much lower altitude.

    If the US did another test today, I’d expect a similar response from other countries to what India received. The risk is higher now, and if the ISS was damaged, there would be major repercussions.

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    At least they didn't fill the test sat with BBs or ice.

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    An article in this weeks Space Review titled "India’s ASAT test and changing perceptions of space warfare"

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3689/1

    India’s reasons for deciding to perform their direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon test, Mission Shakti, no doubt include a desire to send a strong signal to both Beijing and Islamabad that Delhi is not to be trifled with. There is also the Indian need to have a seat at the table when international space governance decisions are being made. Moreover, this is an election year in India and demonstrating national strength in a technologically demanding area won’t hurt the government’s case for remaining in power.
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    If an ASAT test came from a large platform that knocked debris downwards--it wouldn't be as bad. Sadly--it is easier to build a smaller rocket that can hit a sat from beneath. That is what causes the problems.

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    There is no ecologically friendly (making air quotes) way to have an ASAT test. You want that spacecraft down as fast as possible.
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    If an ASAT test came from a large platform that knocked debris downwards--it wouldn't be as bad. Sadly--it is easier to build a smaller rocket that can hit a sat from beneath. That is what causes the problems.
    I'm unconvinced that the direction from which you hit the target satellite (upwards from the ground, downward from a higher orbit, or from the same elevation) makes that much difference.

    If you look at the image from the simulation show in this Business Insider article, it looks like the anti-satellite weapon actually came in at essentially the same elevation as the target (it leveled out before intercepting) and the cloud of debris seems to mostly generate fragments at the same elevation.
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