Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday announced that with Mission Shakti India has joined the elite league of nations, capable of space warfare.
Modi addressing the press said that ISRO scientists have successfully tested an anti-satellite weapon (ASAT). The weapon was deployed to shoot down a decommissioned Indian satellite that was in a ‘Low Earth Orbit’ at a height of 300 KM from the earth’s surface.
Terming it as “Mission Shakti”, PM Modi added that India is the fourth country after America, Russia, and China to acquire such a specialised & modern capability.
What is Mission Shakti?
1. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully destroyed a low earth orbit satellite with anti-satellite (ASAT) missile. The Anti-Satellite weapons (ASAT) are space weapons that have been designed to demolish satellites for ‘strategic military’ purpose. The entire operation was completed within 3 minutes.
2. The ASAT is entirely Made in India, by the Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
3. India is the fourth nation after US, Russia, and China to accomplish the test.
4. The test was successful and achieved all parameters as per plan. The test required an extremely high degree of precision and technical capability.
5. The significance of this test lies in the fact that India has tested and successfully demonstrated its capability to interdict and intercept a satellite in outer space using completely indigenous technology.
6. The A-SAT is indigenous and India will be able to share this technology with other countries.
— India Ahead News (@IndiaAheadNews) March 27, 2019
Why did we do the test?
India has a long-standing and rapidly growing space programme. It has expanded rapidly in the last five years. We successfully launched the Mangalyaan Mission to Mars. Thereafter, the government sanctioned the Gaganyaan Mission which will take Indians to outer space.
Why do we need to blow up satellites?
ASATs were focused primarily on the development of systems to defend against nuclear warheads However, some of the technologies developed fond used in the search and destruction of expired and enemy satellites as well. One of the big reasons for the acquisition of anti-satellite missiles is to destroy satellites spying over the nation.
“A-SAT missile will give new strength to India’s space programme. I assure the international community that our capability won’t be used against anyone but is purely India’s defence initiative for its security. We are against arms raised in space. This test won’t breach any international law or treaties,” PM Modi said in his speech.
It is very important to clarify the intent of ‘Mission Shakti’ being an initiative by India to defend its space assets and not to start an arms race.