A-Sat Fallout, Piece by Piece

Among the concerns created by China’s January test of an anti-satellite capability is the threat posed by the debris it caused. The head of US Strategic Command, Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright, testified last month that earlier tests conducted by the US and Russia had not created the problems generated by Beijing’s secretive exploit. Now, Reuters reports that Air Force Space Command has said it is tracking more than 1,600 pieces of debris from the Chinese test. Jim Wolf reports that, the day before the test, AFSPC had been monitoring a total of some 14,400 pieces, which means the test added “more than 10 percent of the 50-year total in an instant.”