Washington: Defending India’s step to safeguard itself from any threat from space by testing anti-satellite (A-SAT), a top US General has supported the move.

While answering to senator Tim Kaine’s query on how the A-SAT test has caused possible threat to International Space Station (ISS), US Strategic Command Commander General John E Hyten said, “The first lesson from the Indian ASAT is just the simple question of why did they do that. And the answer should be, I think to all the committee looking at it, is that they did that because they are concerned about threats to their nation from space." The statement was made during the congressional hearing.


The test made India only the fourth country in the world to have ASAT capability after US, Russia and China. However, after the test, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) called it as a ‘terrible thing’ as it created 400 pieces of orbital debris and claims that it endangers ISS.


General Hyten called for the development of specific international norms of behavior in space.


He said, "And where those norms of behaviour should begin, from my opinion, is with debris, because as the combatant commander responsible for space today, I don't want more debris.”


Senator Tim Kaine said, “So, they had something in low earth orbit. They used an anti-satellite weapon to down it, and it resulted in - the estimate is right now 400 pieces of debris, 24 which are large enough to potentially pose a threat to the International Space Station," he claimed. There have been other instances like this. There was a Chinese - a similar effort in 2007 that led to the catalogued 100,000 pieces of debris, many of which are still observing in debris fields that pose danger to other assets in space."

However, India has played down such threat due to debris by claiming it will decay within 45 days of the test carried out on March 27.