India's destruction of one of its satellites added less than half of the debris usually left over after a major satellite launch, a former chief of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said, countering a statement from US space agency NASA that had criticised the exercise. Branding the anti-satellite test a "terrible thing", the head of NASA on Monday said "Mission Shakti" had created 400 pieces of orbital debris and led to new dangers for astronauts aboard the International Space Station. But speaking to NDTV, V K Saraswat, a missile scientist who has led the DRDO in the past and is currently a member of the Indian government's policy think-tank NITI Aayog, said this was not the case. "Today in space there are a few million [pieces of] debris which are floating around. Every satellite launch which you do leaves anything between 100-150 fragments, they could be small bolts, they could be heat shields, they could be anything," he said.