US state department refuses to echo NASA’s criticism of ASAT test
The United States on Tuesday reiterated that it “took note” of Indian government’s statement regarding space debris resulting from its anti-satellite testing last month, refusing to join NASA’s shrill criticism of the testing as a “terrible, terrible thing”.
On the “issue of space debris, that is an important concern for the United States, and I would say that we took note of the Indian government’s statements that the test was designed to address space debris issues”, US state department spokesperson Robert Palladino told reporters Tuesday in response to a question referring to NASA administrator’s remarks.
“That is a terrible, terrible thing, to create an event that sends debris into an apogee that goes above the International Space Station,” Jim Bridenstine, the administrator, had said Monday at a town-hall style meeting with NASA employees,
Bridenstine had said some 60 pieces of the debris rose above the apogee of the International Space Station and the risk of it from the orbital debris had gone up by 44%.
Palladino did not echo or endorse the NASA official and repeated the state department’s first response to the testing. “As we’ve said previously, 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.”