WASHINGTON — NASA suspended cooperation with its Indian counterpart in one area in the immediate aftermath of India’s March 27 anti-satellite test, only to reinstate it less than a week later.
In a March 29 letter to K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Al Condes, NASA associate administrator for international and interagency relations, said that NASA was suspending its participation in a working group between the two agencies related to human spaceflight issues, two days after India announced it had intercepted one of its satellites with a ground-launched missile.
“It is NASA’s view that human spaceflight is simply incompatible with the purposeful creation of orbital debris generated by anti-satellite testing,” Condes wrote in the letter, provided to SpaceNews by NASA.
“Consequently, the Administrator has asked me to inform you that NASA is immediately suspending activities under the NASA-ISRO Human Space Flight Working Group until it receives assurances from ISRO that India will refrain from future anti-satellite tests that could have an impact on human space flight activities in low Earth orbit,” he wrote. Other areas of cooperation between the two agencies, he added, were unaffected by this decision.
Condes noted in the letter that NASA ...