A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a national broadcast informed India and the world alike that we are now placed in the league of space superpowers, by successfully testing A-SAT, an anti-satellite missile, DRDO chairman Dr G Satheesh Reddy said today that the project was approved only two years ago.
According to him, the National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, whom they report to on strategic matters, gave the direction to go ahead with the test and he had the concurrence from the Prime Minister. The development started a few years back and we went into mission mode in the last 6 months, he added.
He said that about 100 scientists worked round the clock in the last six months when the A-SAT missile programme entered the ‘mission mode’ to reach the target launch date. A-SAT, an indigenously made anti-satellite weapon struck down a satellite in the Low Earth Orbit on Tuesday, hallmarking another feat to the credit of the Indian space research ecosystem.
It was launched at approximately 11:16 AM from Odisha’s Balasore area, and within three minutes of launch it hit the intended target and demolished it at roughly 300km from the earth’s surface.
As soon as PM Narendra Modi address his speech to the nation announcing the success of “Mission Shakti”, a detailed note informing the World that India’s actions were only to augment its deterrence capabilities and did not intend to trigger an arms race in space was released by India’s Ministry of External Affairs (IEA).