Missile left equipment in more than 400 pieces of orbital debris that could threaten astronauts.
The Indian satellite destruction ends up putting the space station in danger.
India did a test with a missile to destroy one of its satellites in space and NASA did not like it.
Jim Bridenstine, head of the US space agency, said that the incident was “terrible” as it spawned more than 400 orbital fragments that pose a threat to astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
“What we’re tracking now are large objects, about 10 centimeters or more.
About 60 pieces have been tracked,” he said.
There are, however, very small pieces that can hardly be found.
The Indian satellite was destroyed at an altitude of 300 kilometers, well below the ISS and most satellites in orbit.
However, 24 fragments were above the space station.
“This is a terrible thing that can create a debris event beyond the IEE,” said Bridenstine. “This type of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight. It is unacceptable, and NASA needs to be clear about the impact it has on us.”
The United States Army looks for objects in space to predict the risk of collision for the ISS and satellites.
At the moment, it is tracking 23,000 fragments more significant than 10 cm.
Of these, about 3,000 were created by a single event: a Chinese anti-satellite test in 2007.
As a result of the Indian test, the risk of collision with the ISS increased by 44% in 10 days.
But the threat will dissipate over time, as most debris will burn as it enters the atmosphere.
The Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the time of the launch, said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure there was no space debris.
“Any debris that is generated will decay and return to Earth within weeks.”
Space debris is a growing problem: experts warn that unless the amount of litter is kept under control, collisions will become more frequent and could trigger accidents.