Debris from China's 2007 anti-satellite missile launch is still floating around in space.
India controversially launched an anti-satellite outside the earth's atmosphere last week in a move that has been met with widespread criticism from its waring neighbours and NASA The Pakistani foreign ministry insisted the launch threatened the "sustainability of peaceful space activities" and could have had a catastrophic impact on existing space installations such as the International Space Station (ISS).
As a result of the Indian test, the risk of collision with the ISS has increased by 44% over 10 days, Bridenstine said. Troublingly, some of these pieces have reportedly entered into orbits equal to or higher than the International Space Station, potentially putting the base at risk. "That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight".
In March, SpaceX successfully completed a almost weeklong test mission in space. Precedent, however, suggests it could take much longer than that; in 2008, the USA destroyed a defunct satellite at an altitude of 250 kilometres (150 miles), and it took about 18 months for all the material to fall back to Earth, according to SpaceflightNow.
NASA is tracking about 23,000 pieces of space debris that are larger than four inches.
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Troublingly, NASA says around two dozen pieces of the destroyed Indian satellite were flung to orbits higher than the ISS, which now orbits the Earth at an altitude of 410 kilometres (255 miles).
Boeing's passenger spacecraft for deliveries to the International Space Station (ISS), already lagging behind SpaceX, has been delayed let again.
Although Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already made it clear that it has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space and the scaling up defence capability to enter the super league of the US, China and Russian Federation is not aimed against anyone, Pakistan still remains a anxious and strong proponent of non-militarisation of outer space. "All of those are placed at risk when these kind of events happen - and when one country does it, then other countries feel like they have to do it as well".
Bridenstine said NASA was preparing a request for additional funding to achieve the 2024 ambitious Moon landing goal. And in 1985, the United States also used one of its own satellites for target practice.
However, space companies and agencies around the world were not pleased with India's test. Brian Weeden, Director of Program Planning at the Secure World Foundation, - a private organization that promotes peaceful uses of resources in outer space - asked on Twitter if any companies are considering boycotting India's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) to send a message to the nation.