NASA Resumes Work With India After Short Suspension

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NASA is resuming cooperation with India’s space agency following a brief suspension due to New Delhi’s March 27 anti-satellite test of a ground-launched missile that destroyed a space satellite, SpaceNews reported Sunday. 

Al Condes, associate administrator for international and interagency relations at NASA, sent a letter on March 29 to K. Sivan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, saying the U.S. was suspending its participation in the NASA-ISRO Human Space Flight Working Group. 

“It is NASA’s view that human spaceflight is simply incompatible with the purposeful creation of orbital debris generated by anti-satellite testing,” Condes said in the letter. However, just a week after announcing the suspension, NASA Administrator and 2019 Wash100 Award winner Jim Bridenstine sent a follow-up letter to Sivan saying the cooperation with ISRO would continue. 

“Based on guidance received from the White House, I look forward to continuing these groups in the future,” he wrote. 

Bridenstine has criticized India for the missile test. The official described the activity as a “terrible, terrible thing” that left debris that could hit and damage the International Space Station.

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