India destroys live satellite in low orbit

The technological mission, executed from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex in Odisha, targeted one of India’s existing satellites operating in low Earth orbit

March 27, 2019

A DRDO-developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor missile was used in A-SAT mission

India has joined a select group of nations such as the US, Russia and China with similar capability

India has undertaken 102 spacecraft missions that have launched satellites with varied capcities

In 2019, ISRO expects to launch 12 to 14 missions, including India’s second mission to the moon

On March 27, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) conducted Mission Shakti, an anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile test. The technological mission, executed from the Dr APJ Abdul Kalam Island launch complex in Odisha, targeted one of India’s existing satellites operating in low Earth orbit. A DRDO-developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor missile was used in the mission. Tracking data from range sensors confirmed that the mission met all its objectives. The test demonstrated India’s capability to defend its assets in outer space. The Government-run DRDO is charged with the military’s research and development.

With the mission, India has joined a select group of nations such as the US, Russia and China that have similar capability. It is also a milestone for India’s indegenous prowess in space and defence technology. Additionally, the test, being conducted in the lower atmosphere, will leave no space debris. The debris generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks, government sources said. A-SAT mission is the latest in India’s fast developing space programme. In the past five years, the Mangalyaan Mission to Mars was launched, thereafter, the Government has sanctioned the Gaganyaan Mission which will take Indians to outer space.

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 is the backbone of India’s security, economic and social infrastructure. The A-SAT mission will boost strength in protection of India’s assets in outer space that support telecommunications, defence, navigation, weather forecasting, among other capabilities. In 2019, ISRO expects to launch 12 to 14 missions, including India’s second mission to the moon, Chandrayaan II.