Mission Shakti and anti-satellite weapons: India’s space developments you need to know about

(Representational Image)Reuters

  • Mission Shakti gives India the power to destroy any satellite entering its orbit.
  • Indian scientists on 27 March shot down a low orbit satellite 300 km away in space, says Prime Minister Modi.
  • India is the fourth country to test anti-satellite missiles after US, Russia and China.
India has joined an elite group of nations (US, Russia and China) who have the capability and technology of the anti-satellite system. The Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that our scientists shot down a low orbit satellite 300 km away in space.

"Just a few minutes ago, our scientists shot down a live satellite on the LEO (Low Earth Orbit). They achieved it in just three minutes," he said.

An External Ministry Statement said, "The capability achieved through the A-SAT test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long range missiles, and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles," it said.

What was the Mission Shakti test?
India conducted Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite missile test, from the Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Island launch complex on March 27, 2019. The mission was carried out by DRDO. The satellite used during the test was the one present in India’s lower orbit.

What are anti-satellites weapons
Anti-satellites are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. There are only four countries in the world with this capability — the US, China, Russia and now India.

These weapons can allow a country to attack enemy satellite by blinding them or disrupting their communication. They also provide a technical base for intercepting ballistic missiles. They are also helpful in bringing down spy satellites.

India can now hit satellites at long ranges with a few centimeters accuracy, said Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chairman G Satheesh Reddy told news agency ANI. However, India has not directed the test against any country.

The Ministry said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there were no space debris. "Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks."

On why was the test done now, the statement said it was done after India had acquired the required degree of confidence to ensure its success and it reflected the intention of the government to enhance India's national security.

(With IANS)

See also:
India's new anti-satellite weapon has weakened its fight against dangerous space debris

Indian enters an elite space club after scientists shoot down a low orbit satellite 300 km away in space, says Prime Minister Modi
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