India becomes a space superpower after destroying one its own satellites in space. On Wednesday, India brought down a satellite from the low-Earth orbit with an anti-satellite missile. India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised his country’s greatest feat in making a crucial breakthrough in its space program through this test. He stated that this test helped India to emerge as a military space power.
PM Modi made this announcement through a televised address to the country. He mentioned that India became the fourth nation to have used such an anti-satellite missile after the United States, Russia, and China. In the televised broadcast, Modi stated that Indian scientists brought down a live satellite 300 kilometers away in space, which was revolving in low-Earth orbit. However, such potential and power increases the fear of weaponisation of space and establishing a race between rival powers. He even added that India has made an extraordinary mark on Wednesday and it has registered its name as a space power.
Anti-satellite weapons allow attacks on enemy satellites, blinding them or interrupting communications, as well as offer a technology base for ambushing ballistic missiles.
Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan cautioned that the use of anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons such as the one India used to test on Wednesday stands the risk of making a “clutter” in space because of the debris fields the can leave behind.
The U.S. military’s Strategic Command was tracking over 250 pieces of debris from India’s missile test and would release close-approach warning as required till the debris enters the Earth’s atmosphere, according to Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Dave Eastburn.
The New Delhi government and Washington, which generally maintain close relations, have been in discussion regarding the event, and India publicly circulated an aircraft safety advisory before the launch.
India has had a space program for years, furnishing Earth-imaging satellites and initiation capabilities as a cheaper alternate to Western space services. It sent a low-cost probe to Mars in 2014 and planned its first manned space mission by 2022. India also initiated a lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, in 2008 that included an orbiter and an impact probe.