WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India
Mar 27, 2019, 01.18 PM
India has attained anti-satellite capability, becoming the fourth such country after the US, China and Russia, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on Wednesday.
The mission was completed within three minutes when a pre-determined target satellite some 300 km away in the sky was destroyed using a complicated space manoeuvre, Modi said in a nationally televised speech.
Calling it "Mission Shakti", the Prime Minister said it did not violate any international law.
His address to the nation was widely hailed on social media.
"#MissionShakti is special for 2 reasons: (1) India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability. (2) Entire effort is indigenous. India stands tall as a space power! It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony," PM Modi posted on his Twitter handle after the address.
India's main Opposition party, the Congress, congratulated the country's space scientists for the feat.
"We congratulate @isro & the Govt on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1961 by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru & the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt. Indira Gandhi has always made India proud with its ground breaking achievements," said a tweet from Congress's official handle.
We congratulate @isro & the Govt on the latest achievement for India. The Indian Space Programme established in 1961 by Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru & the Indian Space Research Organisation set up under Smt. Indira Gandhi has always made India proud with its ground breaking achievements.
A tweet from Home Minister Rajnath Singh said, "Congratulations to @DRDO_India & @isro scientists on the success of ‘Mission Shakti’. The success of this mission will help in strengthening India’s defence capabilities. We are proud that our Space & Defence prog has touched unprecedented heights with this glorious achievement."
"Massive Space Leap for India. Kudos to #DRDO scientists for this huge technological advancement. Arrival of #India as #Space Super Power... India only 4th Country after #US, #Russia and #China to acquire anti-satellite missile capability. #MissionShakti," Civil Aviation minister Suresh Prabhu said on Twitter.
"Under the able leadership of PM @narendramodi, team @DRDO_India has achieved a remarkable & historic feat. I am feeling proud that #MissionShakti has been successfully conducted making India, the only 4th nation with capability to destroy low orbit satellite using A-SAT missile," tweeted former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
"Space wars are not just Hollywood fiction. The US, Russia and China continue to pursue anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons. Space is being turned into a battlefront, making counter-space capabilities critical. In this light, India's successful "kill" with an ASAT weapon is significant," strategic affairs expert Brahma Chellaney said on Twitter.
Without building deterrence by demonstrating an ASAT capability, India risked encouraging an adversary like China to go after Indian space capabilities early in a conflict. To "defend" its satellites, India has to deter China's use of its direct ascent missiles and laser weapons.