All low earth satellites in reach of ASAT missile: DRDO chief

The Pic of the Day Air Force Col. Nick Hague takes a stroll outside the ISS

Days after the successful test of an anti-satellite missile (ASAT) under Mission Shakti, the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) on Saturday sought to ease concerns regarding the orbital debris in the space.

On the A-SAT test, Bridenstine had said, "It's unacceptable.That is a bad, awful thing to create an event that sends debris in an apogee that goes above the International Space Station (ISS)". He said that even NASA has claimed that the risk was for 10 days which are over today. "Some of the debris have already decayed".

India developed a ballistic missile interceptor under the name of "Mission Shakti" and destroyed one of its own satellites at a height of 300 km (186 miles).

He also responded to a question on Congress leader P Chidambaram's criticism of the government on the test, who had said that "only a foolish government" would reveal a defence secret.

When asked about the need for a space command and serial production of the A-Sat, he said, "It is for the government to take a decision". The satellite is tracked by many stations across the world and all the necessary permissions were taken to carry out the test, he added. "The best way of defence is to have deterrence".

He said the target for the A-SAT test was launched in January specifically for the same. "As we explained, in 2014 the discussions on this started and in 2016, a presentation was given to the highest office". China performed a similar test in 2007, and that test is said to have created almost a third of all debris that NASA is tracking.

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About 150 scientists worked round-the-clock in the past six months and about 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries. "When a country like India has done an exercise like this and shown capability of interception of a target, you have shown the capability for such operations".

"In a letter to ISRO Chairman K Sivan, NASA Administrator James Bridenstine said: "based on the guidance received from the White House", he looks forward to continuing to work with ISRO on a host of issues including human space flights".

Asked if India has informed US or other nations about the test, Saran admitted that India was "in touch" with other space powers.

"If you are talking of the United States, we have a response from four-five USA agencies".

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the A-SAT test's success as "an unprecedented achievement" that makes India "a space power".

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