Anti-Satellite In March, India shot down a satellite with a missile.
“India is now a major space power,” declared Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the time, according to local news.
But the event was an environmental catastrophe: debris created by the space explosion are still whipping around the Earth at thousands of miles per hour, putting spacecraft and other satellites in danger, according to The Verge — a four full months after the anti-missile test.
“Based on the current decay rates of some of these higher orbit objects, I think there will be at least some debris up for another year,” U.S. Air Force public affairs officer Cody Chiles told The Verge.
A Growing Problem In June, astronomers from the Harvard-Smithsonian Centre for Astrophysics were still tracking some 41 debris objects out of 400 originally identified.
They add even more debris to an already very polluted Earth orbit.
READ MORE: More than 50 pieces of debris remain in space after India destroyed its own satellite in March [The Verge] More on the anti-satellite test: Dangerous Debris From India’s Exploded Satellite Still Orbiting Earth