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NASA to continue cooperation with ISRO after White House prodding

NASA to continue cooperation with ISRO after White House prodding

The letter comes days after NASA chief Bridenstine in a town hall meeting criticised India's anti-satellite missile (ASAT) test because of the debris it generated in the space and its potential threat to the International Space Station.

India has been on the defensive following the March 27 test that Nasa branded a "terrible thing" that had created new dangers for astronauts aboard the ISS.

On various responses by the U.S. on India's anti-satellite launch, including the one by NASA administrator James Bridenstine terming it a "terrible thing", Saran said New Delhi treats the State Department statement as official and drew attention to report that NASA has conveyed that it is continuing with ongoing cooperation with India on space including on human space flight mission. Only the United States, Russia and China had previously carried out successful anti-satellite missile strikes in space. However, others have expressed concern over this sort of test which has not taken place since China destroyed a satellite in 2007.

Under the Mission Shakti, a joint mission of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), the anti-satellite missile test was conducted in which one of India's existing satellites operating in the lower orbit was destroyed with a missile.

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"There was a risk for 10 days and we have crossed that period", he told a press conference. "An orbit of around 300 km was chosen for the test for capability demonstration, and the goal was to avoid threat of debris to any global space assets", Reddy said, reports PTI.

The danger from "space junk" is not that it falls to Earth but that it collides with orbiting satellites.

He had earlier outlined, "We have a strong strategic partnership with India, and we will continue to pursue shared interests in space, in scientific and technical cooperation with India, and that includes collaboration on safety and security in space". It is indeed a significant step in space capability for India, which has increased its focus on becoming a space power with a probe sent to Mars in 2014 and plans for a manned space flight in 2022.