Debris from anti-satellite test to disintegrate in 45 days: official

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The satellite targeted with an Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile under Mission Shakti has broken up into at least 270 pieces, most of which are expected to disintegrate within 45 days.

The satellite has disintegrated into at least 270 pieces which has also been confirmed by the North American Aerospace Defence Command (NORAD). One of them is a large piece that has been deorbited and is estimated to be completely degraded by April 5. The rest of the pieces are estimated to disintegrate in less than 45 days.

Being in the Low Earth Orbit, the debris would fall towards earth and burn up as soon as they enter the atmosphere.

Imaging satellite:

The targeted satellite was Microsat-R, an imaging satellite that was launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) on January 24 using a Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle.

The satellite, weighing 740 kg, was placed in an orbit of 274 km above earth.

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) shot down Microsat-R with a modified exo-atmospheric missile of the ballistic missile defence at an altitude of 300 km.

Being monitored:

The ASAT test was tracked by sensors of various agencies. Upon impact, data transmission from the satellite stopped and electro-optic systems confirmed an explosion.

Debris pose significant risk to satellites and other systems launched into orbit as they last for a long time especially in higher orbits. For instance, China’s 2007 ASAT test in an orbit of around 800 km created around 3,000 pieces of debris, of which 616 have decayed. The rest are still in orbit.

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