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India’s Space Programme Reaches Stratospheric Heights

  • Sukanya Iyer
  • March 28, 2019
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As I Pen down my thoughts for another Article amidst the Election Noise of world’s Largest Democracy, India, while Sipping my favourite specially brewed filter Coffee, which energizes me with fresh thoughts, I feel Elated & also Excited, to write about Incredible Achievement of Modi Sarkar for India’s Successful Anti-Satellite Missile Test on Wednesday-27th March 2019, Wherein India Joins select Group of Nations destroys live Satellite in Low Earth Orbit. Before I go into the detailed analysis of India’s Achievement in the Space Programme, I would like to quote from the greatest thinker, Philosopher, Reformer of India, Swami Vivekananda—

“The Will is not free, it is a Phenomenon bound by cause & effect, but there is something behind the will which is free.”

As we all know about our Leadership at the helm of affairs, which is very Bold & Decisive, is clearly seen in implementing various Policies which are Instituted & Implemented for upliftment of 132cr. Indians, or Enhancing Nations Preparedness, various Defence Policies thereby empowering our Defence sector, Armed Forces, making our Northern & western Frontiers Stronger, Be it Surgical Strike, Balakot Air Strike, now A DRDO developed missile which destroyed a low-Orbiting Satellite in a critical test that catapulted India as a Space power alongside the US, China, & Russia. DRDO Chairman G. Satheesh Reddy said” The country now possesses the capability to strike Satellites in outer space with centimetre-level accuracy & Precision, DRDO Chairman opined. Reddy who also supervised the top-secret operation, said the Government accorded clearance to the project around two years back with an aim to deter threats to the country’s space Assets. In a major feat, a DRDO destroyed successfully conducted an Anti-Satellite Missile (A-SAT) Missile Test, #Mission Shakti from Dr. APJ ABDUL KALAM, Island in Odisha. A DRDO, developed Ballistic Missile Defence. (BMD), Interceptor Missile successfully engaged on Indian Orbiting Target Satellite in Low Orbit (LEO) is a “Hit to Kill”, Mode. The Interceptor Missile was a three Stage Missile, with two solid Rocket Boosters, tracking Data from Range Sensors has confirmed that the Mission met all its objectives. The Text has demonstrated the Nation’s capability, to defend its assets in outer space. It’s a Vindication of strength & Robust Nature of DRDO’s Programme. With this India joins the Elitist club of Nation, Russia, China, US which have such capabilities. The test has once again proved the capability of Indigenous Weapon System. Mr. Satheesh Reddy also said that “the test was reflection of India’s growing capability to develop critical technology & it will act as a good deterrence,” he said adding India was the Fourth country to go for an Anti-Satellite missile test after the United States, Russia & China. Mr. Reddy also said that the technology used has been completely developed indigenously & now India stands as one of the four Nations to have it. India is emerging as a major technologically advanced nation in space sector.

India is yet to have a comprehensive doctrine of National Security. However, there is a joint operational Doctrine for the Army, the Navy, & the Air Force, released in April 2017 had proposed to set up a ‘Defence Space Agency’ to deal with issues relating to outer space. The Ministry of External Affairs said the test was not directed against any country & that India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space. This test is a clear indicative of the fact that it is not directed against any country. India’s space capabilities do not threaten any country and nor are they directed against anyone,” the MEA said in a 10- point explainer on the anti-Satellite missile test.

Why Mission Shakti is Ground Breaking? India has shot down a low-Earth orbit Satellite in Space, propelling itself into an elite club of Nations, which has mastered this anti-Satellite (A-SAT), Missile Technology, said PM Modi, in his address to the nation on Wednesday. PM Modi, however, was quick to point out the Intent of DRDO’s “MISSION SHAKTI”, is to defend India’s space assets & not to start any arms race in space. Since there are no treaties governing the use of A-SAT, India is not in violation of any International Conventions.

The Usage of (A-SAT) is very much seen as crossing frontier just like India’s 1998 Nuclear Tests. Anti-Satellite technology has so far been in the hands of very few countries.: the US, Russia & China. The Acquisition & Demonstration of this technology make India a member of an elite group of countries.

The fact is that this Anti-Satellite technology is indigenously developed adds to India’s credentials, given that for many decades India was kept away from acquiring key technologies, forcing the country to develop its own space & Nuclear capabilities. This Anti-Satellite Space technology showcases India’s focus on National Security Challenges, which is beyond Pakistan. “The A-SAT weapon is likely to be the most potent military tool for the Armed forces over the next few decades, notwithstanding a revolutionary technological breakthrough”, according to Arvind K. John, analyst with New-Delhi based think-tank observer Research Foundation.

This technology’s acquisition will make India to explore opportunities & also exploit for commercial use, both domestic & globally. As we all know that India having developed its own commercial Satellite vehicles, today India is launching Satellites of other countries. There was a time it used to piggyback on French-made launch vehicles such as the Ariane.

Procedural Aspects of Mission Shakti. Mission Shakti, coming after the Surgical Strike in 2016, & the Balakot Air Strike last month, Mission Shakti is expected to burnish the nationalist credentials of PM Modi & the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has been giving due impetus to indigenously developed technology, skills, & enterprise. Several of the Government’s Programmes such as the Atal Innovation Mission stress the importance of Scientific discoveries & inventions at the School & other levels.

PM Modi “Mission Shakti, which was led by the Defence Research & development Organisation, was aimed at strengthening Indi’s overall Security.”.

PM Modi went on Television on Wednesday 27th March 2019, to announce that India had demonstrated A-SAT Missile capability by shooting down a live Satellite, describing it as a rare achievement that puts the country in an exclusive club of space super powers. PM Modi, calling the Operation “Mission Shakti”, the PM said the action was not directed against any country and the Satellite was a Pre-determined target orbiting at an altitude of 300 Km. Mission shakti, which was led by the Defence Research & Development Organization, was aimed at strengthening India’s overall security, he said in his address that comes a fortnight before the start of the General Election. Fact: It is worth noting of the fact that the Department of Space directly reports to the PMO.

What was the Test?

The Satellite used in this Mission was one of India’s existing Satellites operating in lower orbit. The test was fully successful & it also achieved all parameters as per plans. The test required an extremely high degree of Precision & technical capability. The significance of the test is that India has demonstrated its capability to interdict & intercept a Satellite in outer space based on complete indigenous technology. With this Test, India joins an exclusive group of space faring Nations consisting of US, Russia & China.

Which Satellite was used—The Satellite used was very much Indian, the Missile /Interceptor was Ballistic Missile Defence interceptor, which is part of ongoing Ballistic Missile Defence Programme?

Why the Technology of Kinetic Kill was used by India? There are other ways to demonstrate A-SAT capabilities such as “fly-by-Tests”, & Jamming. This is a Particular Technology where we have developed [ed capability. Space Technologies are constantly evolving. We have used the Technology that is appropriate to achieve the objectives set out in this mission.

There were lot of Noise created that this Test would have created lot of Debris, has it created? To ensure there are no Debris, the test was done in the lower atmosphere. Whatever the Debris generated will decay & fall back onto the Earth within weeks.

Reasons for A-SAT Missile Test—

India has evolved its Space Programme over the years. It has seen a rapid expansion in last five years. The Mangalyaan Mission to Mars successfully launched. Thereafter, the Government has sanctioned the Gaganyaan Mission which will take Indians to outer Space. Indeed, it’s a great achievement for Modi Sarkar that India has undertaken 102 spacecraft missions comprising of Earth observation Satellites, communication satellites, experimental Satellites, Navigation Satellites, apart from Satellites meant for Scientific research & exploration, Academics, & other small Satellites. For National Security, A key Requirement is that of India’s Space4 Programme & also for economic & social Infrastructure. The basic Aim of this Test was conducted mainly to verify that India has the capability to safeguard our space Assets. The Test was done after we had acquired the required degree of confidence to ensure its success, & also it spells out the Intent of the Government to enhance Nations Security & preparedness. India has seen an accelerated Space Development Programme since 2014.

Is there any Reason for India to compete into an Arms Race in Outer Space?

This was not the intent of entering into an arms race in outer space. Space ought to be utilized only for peaceful purposes. India is always against the usage of weapons in outer space & also intends to support International efforts, to reinforce the safety & security of Space based Assets. India is a firm believer that outer Space should be utilized for safeguarding the Interests of the mankind. The responsibility of all- space faring nations to preserve & Promote the benefits flowing from advances made in Space Technology & its applications for all. India has entered into all major Treaties relating to outer Space. India already implements a number of Transparency & Confidence Building Measures(TCBMS) which includes registering space objects with UN register, Prelaunch notifications, measures in Harmony with the UN Space Mitigation Guidelines, Participation in Inter Agency Space Debris Co-ordination (IADC),activities with regard to space debris management, undertaking SOPA (Space object Proximity Awareness ) Collision Advance, Analysis,& numerous other international cooperation activities including the hosting the UN affiliated Centre for Space & Science Technology Education in Asia & Pacific.

There will be no Placement of weapons on outer space. India supports the Substantive consideration of the issue of Prevention of an Arms Race in Outer Space (PAROS)in the Conference on Disarmament where it has been on the agenda since 1982. This test is not directed against any Nation as such. India’s Space Preparedness doesn’t threaten any other country for no reasons. At the same time Government is very much committed to ensuring the Country’s National Security Interests & is alert to threats from emerging Technologies.

Important Revelation by Ex-ISRO chairman- Why India didn’t carry A-SAT Missile Tests in 2007.

An Important Voice, Former ISRO Chairman, G. Madhavan Nair also opined that India had the A-SAT Missile capability more than a decade ago but there was no Political will at the time to demonstrate it. He said When China shot down an ageing weather Satellite by Launching a Missile in 2007, India had all the Technology to undertake a similar Mission. “Since Now PM Modi has taken the initiative & he had the Political will & courage to say that we will do this. We now have demonstrated this to the whole world.” Nair told PTI. He had headed the ISRO space commission & was also Secretary in the Department of Space from 2003 to 2009. Asked if India could have demonstrated this A-SAT Missile capability in 2007, itself, Nair said” Certainly”, but it could not be done due to absence of Political Decision” to go ahead with it at that time. “Now PM Modiji has courageously taken the decision”, he said.

A-SAT process started in 2014, after PM Modis Permission to the DRDO Scientists to conduct such a strike in outer space & establish our Identity amongst the Elitist club of Russia, China & US. Why Erstwhile Economist PM Mr. Manmohan Singh of C-Congress-Corruption, never gave Permission to build Anti Satellite Missiles. Scientists had the capabilities & capacities to build such A-SAT Missiles, a decade ago, -why they were not empowered do it so? Now suddenly congress wakes from deep slumber, as our PM take an decisive & a very Bold step by Empowering DRDO scientists to destroy such Missile in no Time, with Precision, takes A credit of doing the same Act by Jawaharlal Nehru, which caused severe disruptions & led to the formation of POK, & Indira Gandhi who indulged only in sloganeering “ Garibi Hatao”, whereas in real it was PM Modi whose decisive leadership made them to carry #BalakotAirStrike,& todays Anti-Missile attack on outer space.

The Entire Nation Congratulated our PM Modi of this remarkable & significant move & in turn PM applauded the efforts of all Scientists who worked tirelessly for this Mission to be accomplished. Nation stands behind you rock solid in all your Positive Endeavours for Nation Building purposes, towards Nations Preparedness & Development by upholding the Principles of Democracy. This Decisiveness of PM Modi won the hearts of 132cr.Indians for Nations Security Doctrine Enhanced.

Salutations to our Brave warriors

Jai Hind

Dr.S. Sukanya Iyer

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