Published: Fri, April 05, 2019
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

NASA, Boeing push back Starliner test flight to ISS

NASA, Boeing push back Starliner test flight to ISS

NASA had said on Monday that the Indian satellite which was destroyed had led to twenty-four pieces of debris floating "above the apogee of the International Space Station".

NASA said the decision to shift the date was guided by limited launch opportunities during the previously planned April-May time frame, as well as planning requirements for the launch of the AEHF-5 military communications satellite for the Air Force in June.

On March 27th, the Indian Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) did something few other countries have accomplished: they launched a missile that destroyed one of their own satellites in low Earth orbit, on objective.

He called the test unacceptable during a town hall meeting saying that the human space flight is not compatible with the intentional creation of orbital space debris fields.

While NASA is tracking 60 pieces that are 10cm (3.93 inches) or bigger, 24 of those have gone above the apogee of the ISS.

The International Space Station was launched way back in 1998 and has been seen over 54 crewed missions.

A day after NASA claimed that debris from India's anti-satellite (ASAT) missile test has increased the collision risk to the International Space Station (ISS) by 44 per cent, Tapan Misra, senior advisor to ISRO chairman said on Tuesday that Indian scientists will not do anything to shame India and that the debris from "Mission Shakti" will burn out in the next six months.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed its success as "an unprecedented achievement" that makes India "a space power".

Of course, NASA does have emergency procedures in case a piece of debris does approach the ISS.

Delhi has insisted it carried out the test in low-earth orbit, at an altitude of 300km (186 miles), to not leave space debris that could collide with the ISS or satellites. However, the debris will decrease by burning up as it enters the atmosphere. In February, the space agency also began exploring the possibility of buying additional Soyuz rides to the space station through September, 2020, as it waits for Starliner and SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft to begin operational service.

Both SpaceX and Boeing are participating in NASA's Commercial Crew Program, which aims to bring astronaut launches back to USA soil.

Mr Bridenstine said that it was true that this would eventually happen.

However, space companies and agencies around the world were not pleased with India's test. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning at the Secure World Foundation, - a private organization that promotes peaceful uses of resources in outer space - asked on Twitter if any companies are considering boycotting India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to send a message to the nation. But probability of that, I think, is low...the good thing is that it is low enough and over time this will all dissipate. And in 1985, the United States also used one of its own satellites for target practice.

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