The satellite destroyed in an anti-satellite missile test by India's Defense Research and Development Organization at an altitude of ~300 kilometres on 27 March was well below the ISS and most satellites in orbit.
However, 24 of the pieces "are going above the apogee of the International Space Station," said Bridenstine.
"That is a terrible, terrible thing to create an event that sends debris at an apogee that goes above the International Space Station," he continued, adding: "That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight."
"It's unacceptable and NASA needs to be very clear about what its impact to us is."
The US military tracks objects in space to predict the collision risk for the ISS and for satellites. They are currently tracking 23,000 objects larger than 10 centimeters.
That includes about 10,000 pieces of space debris, of which nearly 3,000 were created by a single event: a Chinese anti-satellite test in 2007 at 530 miles from the surface.
As a result of the Indian test, the risk of collision with the ISS has increased by 44 percent over 10 days, Bridenstine said.
But the risk will dissipate over time as much of the debris will burn up as it enters the atmosphere.
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Updated Date: Apr 02, 2019 08:55:42 IST