New Delhi: “India has achieved a rare feat in space security by becoming an elite space power,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today.
Addressing the nation on television, the Prime Minister said, “An anti-satellite weapon (A-SAT) successfully targeted a live satellite on low earth orbit (LEO). India is the fourth nation after the United States of America, Russia and China to have entered this elite club.”
LEO refers to an Earth-centered orbit at an altitude of 2,000 km. A-SAT is a weapon system designed to destroy or incapacitate satellites.
“Named ‘Mission Shakti’, the operation was a difficult target to achieve but was successfully completed within three minutes of the launch. I congratulate all those who were involved in the mission. Entire effort is indigenous,” he said, and added, “India’s achievements in the space sector is to maintain the security of the country. India does not believe in war. The success of the mission will help us in preparing ourselves for future challenges. We need to adapt new technologies to make our future secure. We aim to make Indians feel secured. Together, we will build a safe, secure and prosperous India.”
He further said the A-SAT missile will give new strength to India’s space programme but assured the international community that the capability won’t be used against anyone. “It is purely India’s defence initiative for its security. It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony. We are against arms race in space. This test won’t breach any international law or treaties,” he said.
Congratulating Mission Shakti, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu wrote in his Twitter account, ‘Compliment our Scientists on their successful launch of anti-satellite missile. We, as a nation, are proud of our Scientists. #MissionShakti #ASAT’.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari congratulated all the scientists who carried out ‘Mission Shakti’ successfully. “India is moving fast towards becoming a world leader and under PM Modi’s leadership, it is on its way to not only become a ‘super economic power’, but also a ‘super science power’,” Gadkari said.
Union Minister Rajyavardhan Rathore tweeted, ‘The successful execution of #MissionShakti is a proud, powerful, historic moment for us. Under the visionary leadership of PM @narendramodi ji, today we have become a formidable space power with proven Anti-Satellite Missile capability. Many congrats @DRDO_India & all Indians’.
Modi had earlier tweeted that he would be addressing the nation with an important message. ‘I would be addressing the nation at around 11.45 AM – 12.00 noon with an important message. Do watch the address on television, radio or social media (sic),’ Modi had tweeted.
WHAT IS MISSION SHAKTI?
It is an anti-satellite missile system that can destroy or incapacitate live satellite in just three minutes. It will give new strength to India’s space programme.
India has registered itself as a space power today. Till now only USA, Russia and China have achieved this. India is the fourth country to achieve this feat.