India counters US on 'Mission Shakti', says debris will decay within 45 days

WION Web Team
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: Apr 06, 2019, 05:32 PM(IST)

File photo: DRDO successfully launched the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor missile on March 27, in an Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile test 'Mission Shakti'. Photograph:( IANS )

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On April 4, the Pentagon had said that the space debris from India's A-Sat (anti-satellite) missile test would burn up in the atmosphere

Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on Saturday clarified that the space debris from India's A-Sat (anti-satellite) missile test will decay within 45 days.

India chose a much lower orbit of less than 300 kilometres during Mission Shakti for "capability demonstration" and to avoid any threat of debris to global space assets, DRDO Chairman G Satheesh Reddy said Saturday.

"An orbit of around 300 kilometres was chosen for the test for capability demonstration, and the purpose was to avoid any threat of debris to any global space assets," Reddy said.

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Reddy was addressing a press briefing wherein he emphasised the significance of 'Mission Shakti' operation. 

India had conducted its A-Sat test on March 27, shooting down a satellite 300 kilometres up in space.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced the successful completion of the test which had been dubbed "Mission Shakti" or 'Strength'.

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India's 'Mission Shakti' upset the United States. The US expressed concerns about the spread of debris from the test. On April 4, the Pentagon said that the space debris from India's A-Sat (anti-satellite) missile test would burn up in the atmosphere, thereby standing by Acting Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan's assessment.

NASA, on the other hand, that more than 400 pieces of orbital debris from the test had been identified — including debris that was travelling above the International Space Station. 

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NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said that was a "terrible, terrible thing".   

DRDO chief Satheesh Reddy, earlier today, lauded the operation, noticing that space has gained importance in the military domain. 

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"When a country like India has done an exercise like this and shown capability of interception of a target, you have shown the capability for such operations. The best way of defence is to have deterrence," Reddy told media. 

He added that all necessary permissions were taken before conducting the test. 

"A mission of this nature after a test is conducted can’t be kept secret. The satellite is tracked by many stations across the world. All necessary permissions were taken," Reddy said. 

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