Reacting to India's anti-missile test, the United States expressed concern over the issue of space debris, even as it said that it will continue to pursue its shared interests with New Delhi in space and technical cooperation.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite missile by shooting down a live satellite. The test makes India the fourth country in the world after the US, Russia and China to acquire the strategic capability to shoot down enemy satellites.
Commenting on the development, a State Department spokesperson on Wednesday told PTI: "The state department saw PM Modi's statement that announced India's anti-satellite test".
To a question, the spokesperson said that as part of "our strong strategic partnership with India, we will continue to pursue shared interests in space and scientific and technical cooperation, including collaboration on safety and security in space". However, he expressed concern over the issue of space debris.
"The issue of space debris is an important concern for the US government. We took note of Indian government statements that the test was designed to address space debris issues," the spokesperson said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure there is no space debris.
"Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks," it said.
The MEA has also come out with a 10-point explainer to say the anti-satellite missile test was carried out to verify India's capability to safeguard space assets and that it was not directed against any country.
It also said in a statement that India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space.
"We have always maintained that space must be used only for peaceful purposes. We are against the weaponisation of Outer Space and support international efforts to reinforce the safety and security of space based assets," the MEA added.