On 27th March, 2019, an Indian live satellite named Microsat-R was hit by India itself 300 km away from the earth, marking the birth of an ASAT (Anti-Satellite) missile ‘Shakti’. India has successfully become the fourth nation after Russia, USA and China to develop and adopt this technology.
Wikipedia defines an Anti Satellite as a ‘space weapon, which is used to destroy satellites for strategic military purpose.’ Satish Reddy, the chief of Defense Research and Development Organisation, while speaking to the sources stated that the preparation for this missile was going on since years but received an official heads up two years back. He also said that all the technologies used to achieve this mission were indigenously developed.
The ASAT Missile was developed in Hyderabad by the scientists at Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam Research Centre Imarat (RCI) and Advanced Systems Laboratory. The missile was launched in Odisha by hitting the live Indian satellite with complete accuracy within 3 minutes. Scientists claim that the satellite holds the power to hit up to 1000 km away.
Keeping the nation curious for an hour after tweeting at 11:23 am, about making a big announcement , Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the launch of ASAT Shakti, making the whole nation proud and marking one of the greatest achievements in the records of Indian history.
While making the big announcement, Modi also made it clear, that the launching of the ASAT was only for India’s defense and security and will not be used against any country. He assured the international community that the step that India has taken won’t breach any international laws and treaties.
Reacting to this development, China commented that it hopes India will earnestly maintain peace in the outer space. The US on the other hand though took note of the launch but expressed its concern over space debris.