Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India is a ‘space power’ after it successfully shot down a live satellite in space.
This could be ringing alarm bells among India’s rivals China and Pakistan with space being the latest battlefront where it gets to flaunt its aeronautical muscles. China is far ahead in the weapon’s race which tested its anti-satellite weapon back in 2007. However, unlike China, India doesn’t seem to have generated space debris, ensuring its impact is a ‘clean’ hit.
India is now the fourth country to have used an anti-satellite weapon after the US, Russia, and China. Modi, who is heading into the general elections next month, said, “ India has made an unprecedented achievement today”. He continued in Hindi, “India has now registered its name as a superpower”.
However, the US has reacted to India’s actions and has warned of debris after the test. The United States ran the first anti-satellite test in 1959 when satellites themselves were rare and new.
NASA chief Jim Bridenstine said “If we wreck space, we’re not getting it back,” without mentioning India by name. India played down any risk of debris, noting the test was in low-earth orbit further clarifying that the remnants would ‘decay and fall back on to the earth within weeks’.