India on Wednesday made its way into an elite club of “space superpowers” as its anti-satellite missile A-SAT successfully targeted a live satellite on a low earth orbit in just three minutes.
As part of the “Mission Shakti”, the anti-satellite missile was fired from Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Island in the Bay of Bengal off the Odisha coast by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The DRDO developed the building blocks of the Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) interceptor missile in 2012. The target destroyed was an out of service satellite, launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), operating in the low-Earth orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 300 km.
So far only three countries — the US, Russia and China — had this technology.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while announcing the feat, said: “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 an arms race in space. This test won’t breach any international law or treaties.”