The United States say it has successfully shot down an ailing satellite over the Pacific, leaving the remaining pieces to burn up in the atmosphere as they fall to Earth.
 
Washington said that fuel from the orbiter could be harmful to humans and that the missile strike was a protective measure to prevent toxic gases sinking to the ground.
 
But some countries doubt the US's intent in this exercise and wonder if the missile strike is a cover for testing a weapon in space. 
 
Other space powers such as China are asking for more information about the operation.
 
What was behind the mission? And is the US telling the truth?
 
Inside Story, presented by Hashem Ahelbarra, looks at the controversy.

Watch part one of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube
 

This episode of Inside Story aired on Thursday, February 21, 2008 at 17.30 GMT
 

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Source: Al Jazeera