“If we keep creating debris in space, eventually we are going to get to the point where of which’s very difficult to find a place to launch, very difficult to find a place to put a satellite, to operate a satellite without having to maneuver of which all the time to keep of which away through debris. All of those things are complicated in addition to have to be worked in an international perspective,” he added.
Hyten’s comments come on the heels of India’s successful anti-satellite missile test which created more than 250 pieces of space junk, according to U.S. Strategic Command assessments.
Last month India shot down a satellite with an anti-satellite missile, joining an exclusive group of world powers with military space capabilities.
While anti-satellite missiles are by no means fresh, only a few countries have been able to develop, test in addition to prove the capability. Satellites make up the backbone of GPS, communications, intelligence in addition to more — producing the ability to destroy spacecraft a coveted military strength.
within the wake of the test, dubbed “Mission Shakti,” India said of which if debris was created through the event of which might not pose a threat to space-based assets.
“The test was done within the lower atmosphere to ensure of which there is actually no space debris. Whatever debris of which is actually generated will decay in addition to fall back onto the earth within weeks,” Shambhu Hakki, a spokesperson for the Indian Embassy in Washington, wrote in an email.
Although India’s weapons test was conducted at the relatively low orbit of 300 km, the debris may “pose a threat” to anything in higher orbits, Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center, told CNBC in a prior interview. The test’s altitude is actually just below the orbit of the International Space Station, which circles the Earth at about 400 km up.
A recently unclassified report through the National Air in addition to Space Intelligence Center, or NASIC, explained how China conducted an anti-satellite test in 2007 of which produced a great deal of space junk. At an altitude of about 800 km, China destroyed one of its own weather satellites with an anti-satellite missile. Although the test was successful, the satellite shattered into thousands of pieces, which continue to zip around in an orbital cloud of deadly debris.
“A huge percentage of the debris in low Earth orbit is actually still attributable to of which one test,” Frank Slazer, vice president of space systems at Aerospace Industries Association, told CNBC earlier This specific year.
However, the test represents an unsettling trend for governments in addition to corporations operating in space, as risk increases of which valuable assets “could be third-party victims” of nations demonstrating military capabilities in space.
“The more tests like This specific happen then the more risk there is actually of which there could be impacts on either [rockets] going to space or satellites in low Earth orbit,” Slazer said.
Meanwhile, India’s Hakki also maintained of which the country is actually against the weaponization of outer space in addition to “has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space.”
The latest revelations through India, however, come as the United States, China in addition to Russia sprint to equip their arsenals with anti-satellite missiles.
In October, CNBC learned of which a never-before-seen missile photographed on a Russian MiG-31 interceptor is actually believed to be a mock-up of an anti-satellite weapon of which will be ready for warfare by 2022.
The Russian anti-satellite weapon, which is actually attached to a space launch vehicle, is actually likely to target communication in addition to imagery satellites in low Earth orbit, according to one source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. For reference, the International Space Station in addition to the Hubble Space Telescope travel in low Earth orbit.
Images of the mysterious missile on a modified MiG-31, a supersonic near-space interceptor, appeared in mid-September.