India has achieved yet another technological breakthrough. On Wednesday, March 27, India made history when A-SAT, an anti-satellite system developed by DRDO, knocked down a live Indian satellite in the low Earth Orbit. With this stupendous achievement India has become the fourth nation in the world to have the technology. Until now only the United States, Russia, and China had mastered this technology.
According to media reports, the A-SAT was launched on Wednesday morning at 11.16 and within three minutes successfully destroyed the live satellite which was approximately 300 kms far from the earth. The success of the test, which was named Mission Shakti, has indicated India’s growing prowess in India’s space technology.
The breakthrough was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his address to the nation. The PM also stated the goal of Mission Shakti was not to start an arms race but to defend the space assets of the country.
What is an A-SAT
A-SAT or an anti-satellite missile is a weapon that can destroy satellites that pose a serious threat to the defence and security of a nation such as threatening its space assets, spying on military installations or indulging in military action. The A-SAT can either be launched from the ground or from the planes.
Why is it significant?
First of all, India is now at par with Russia, the US, and China. Another significant aspect of the anti-satellite technology is that it has been developed indigenously by the Defence Research and Development Organisation. For many decades India has been developing its own technologies and the current success is a big achievement for its scientists.
This successful test shows that India now has the capability to intercept a satellite in outer space which will go a long way in strengthening the security of the country. Over the past few years, India’s space-based assets have been growing at an exponential speed. But, the success of Mission Shakti has demonstrated that India now has the capability to protect its assets against threats from long range missiles. Further, India can also use the technology for commercial purposes both at the domestic and the international level.
The Mission Shakti would surely boost the prestige of the government and the country.