New Delhi: ‘India is now a Space Superpower,’ Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared. The Prime Minister said that “India had reached an extremely critical phase in its history by shooting down a satellite 300 Kilometres above the earth’s surface and now possessed the anti-satellite (ASAT) missile technology in its arsenal. The Indian scientists completed the extremely tough ‘Mission Shakti’ in a matter of just three minutes. Therefore, India becomes the fourth country in the world after the United States, Russia and China to have acquired the capability. The capability was meant only for defending India’s space assets and not for starting an arms race in space,” PM Modi stated as he delivered a clear message to the international media.
In 2007, China had shocked the world by destroying its own satellite. The country was accused of starting an arms race in space by destroying its own satellite located at the height of 865 Kilometres from the earth’s surface. Thus, it was believed to have endangered the security of the Indian satellites. On Wednesday, however, Prime Minister Modi announced that India too had the anti-satellite missile technology (ASAT) which was tested a short while ago. It was a matter of great pride for the entire country, said the Prime Minister. He added that the Anti-Satellite Missiles – ASAT were developed with indigenous technology and it was possible because of the unrelenting efforts of the DRDO scientists. “Satellites are used in many sectors such as agriculture, education, disaster management, weather and defence. Hence, the capability for the security of the satellites is a significant achievement,” the Prime Minister claimed.
“India has conducted the test in the Low Earth Orbit and is not in violation of the international laws. We do not intend to spark an arms race in space,” the Prime Minister assured the international community. Furthermore, he stated that “India believes in maintaining peace and is against an arms race. Our stance will remain unchanged even in the future”. Meanwhile, the DRDO chief, G. Satheesh Reddy said, “It is a tremendous addition to the Indian capabilities” as he expressed his pleasure. Whereas, the experts in the field assert that the anti-satellite missile test is just as important as a nuclear test. Also, India can now intercept the satellites that spy on it fortifying its security further, claim experts.
The feat is receiving an all-round appreciation, as also is the political will of the government. Moreover, reports suggest that the preparations for ‘Mission Shakti’ had begun two years ago.