Mission Shakti: All you need to know about the A-SAT anti-satellite weapon

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a big announcement said that India has entered its name as an elite space power with an anti-satellite weapon A-SAT which successfully targeted a live satellite in a low earth orbit. The operation, ‘Mission Shakti’  was successful after achieving its difficult target within three minutes of launching the A-SAT.

Mission Shakti is an important step towards securing India’s safety, economic growth and technological advancement.

“A-SAT missile will give new strength to India’s space programme. 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’re against arms raised in space. This test won’t breach any int’l law or treaties,” PM Modi added.

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Here is all you need to know about India’s Mission Shakti and A-SAT weapon

  1. On March 27 India conducted Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite missile test, from the Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Island launch complex. DRDO carried out the mission where an extremely high degree of precision and skill was required. The A-SAT hit a live satellite operating in lower orbit. The test was fully successful and achieved all parameters as per plans. The test required an extremely high degree of precision and technical capability.
  2. A-SATs are weapons designed to destroy satellites during warfare or for military purposes. A-SAT weapons have not been used so far during a war and have been only demonstrated to show force or power.
  3. Mission Shakti’s success has established India in the league of space superpowers. India is only the 4th country to achieve this feat after USA, Russia, and China.
  4. India tested an A-SAT weapon on a pre-determined live satellite which was 300 kilometers in the low earth orbit within three minutes.
  5.  Dr. VK Saraswat, Former Director-General and Scientific Advisor of DRDO said in 2010 that India was on its way to integrate an anti-satellite weapon and it has been in the development stage since.

ALSO READ: India becomes elite space power with anti-satellite weapon A-SAT: PM Modi


Details of the mission 

1. India has a long-standing and rapidly growing space programme. In the last five years, it has grown since the Mangalyaan Mission to Mars was successfully launched. Post this the government has sanctioned the Gaganyaan Mission to go outer space.

2. India has undertaken 102 spacecraft missions consisting of communication satellites, earth observation satellites, experimental satellites, navigation satellites, apart from satellites meant for scientific research and exploration, academic studies and other small satellites. India’s space programme has been critical to the overall growth and development and security.

3. The test was done to purely for defence purposes and not directed towards any other country and is aimed at fortifying the security of India.

4. The test was conducted after extensive research and the ability and intention of the government to strengthen national security.

Purpose of the test 

1. The test is not directed towards any country, it was only conducted for self-defence. The test has been undertaken to keep peace in mind, the idea is not to target any other nation.

2. The government is committed to safeguarding India’s safety, economic growth and technological advancement.

3. India supports the substantive consideration of the issue of Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS) in the Conference on Disarmament where it has been on the agenda since 1982.

International law on weapons in outer space 

1. India is a signatory to the Outer Space Treaty which prohibits only weapons of mass destruction in outer space, not ordinary weapons.

2. India’s test has not violated any treaty or law which it is a party to.


The strategic advantage for India
India has a strategic advantage with countries like China which pose a strategic threat to India.
India can also take the threat from rogue nations which may threaten its space assets. It also sends a global message to the world that India is a global space superpower.

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