India on Wednesday destroyed a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test that puts the country in the space "super league", PM Narendra Modi said in an address to the nation. "A while ago our scientists shot down a live satellite at a low-earth orbit," PM Modi said in a televised address to the nation. "This is a proud moment for India," he added.

TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Mar 27, 2019, 15:03 IST
  • India on Wednesday destroyed a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test.
  • India is the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to have carried out the feat, the PM said.
NEW DELHI: India on Wednesday destroyed a low-orbiting satellite in a missile test that puts the country in the space "super league", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in an address to the nation. "In the journey of every nation there are moments that bring utmost pride and have a historic impact on generations to come. One such moment is today," he said in an unprecedented broadcast to the nation on television, radio and social media.
"India has successfully tested the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile. Congratulations to everyone on the success of #MissionShakti," the Prime Minister tweeted later. He said the action was not directed against any country and the satellite was a pre-determined target orbiting at an altitude of 300km. The Prime Minister did not say who owned the satellite but added that India does not breach any international laws or treaties.

Low earth orbit or LEO satellites are used for telecommunication that orbit till a distance of around 2,000 kilometers above the earth's surface. These satellites are also used for data communication for instance e-mail, video conferencing, etc. These satellites move at extremely high speeds and are not fixed in space in relation to the earth.

Mission Shakti, which was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, was aimed at strengthening India's overall security, he said in his address that comes a fortnight before the start of the general election. "#MissionShakti was a highly complex one, conducted at extremely high speed with remarkable precision. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India's outstanding scientists and the success of our space programme," Modi said.

Government sources revealed to ANI that the A-SAT weapon was launched around 11:16AM on Wednesday and targeted an Indian satellite which had been decommissioned and was orbiting on a 'Low Earth Orbit' at a height of 300 KM from the earth's surface. The entire test, with confirmation of target elimination, took 3 minutes.

"Shooting down a low earth orbit satellite is a rare achievement for the country," he said.

India is only the fourth country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability after the US, Russia and China. The "entire effort is indigenous. India's stands tall as a space power. It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony", Modi said.




The Prime Minister had advertised his address to the nation on Twitter, calling it an important message.

"Do watch the address on television, radio or social media," he said, setting off speculation across the country on what the topic was likely to be.

Earlier in the day, the Cabinet Committee on Security had met at the Prime Minister's residence.
In Video: PM Narendra Modi's speech: 'India successfully shoots down live satellite in space'
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