India shoots down satellite in space; Modi hails major breakthrough

Published: March 27, 2019
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PHOTO: REUTERS

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PHOTO: REUTERS

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said India had shot down a satellite in space on Wednesday with an anti-satellite missile, hailing the test as a major breakthrough in its space programme.

Modi made the announcement in a television address to the nation. He said India would only be the fourth country to have used such an anti-satellite weapon after the United States, Russia and China.

Such capabilities have raised fears of the weaponisation of space and setting off a race between rival powers.

“Some time ago, our scientists, shot down a live satellite 300 kilometres away in space, in low-earth orbit,” Modi said, calling it a historic feat.

“India has made an unprecedented achievement today,” he said, speaking in Hindi. “India registered its name as a space power.”

Modi faces a general election next month. He went on Twitter earlier to announce his plan for a national broadcast, saying he had an important announcement to make.

India has had a space programme for years, making earth imaging satellites and launch capabilities as a cheaper alternative to Western programmes.

Brahma Chellaney, a security expert at New Delhi’s Centre of Policy Research, said the United States, Russia and China were pursuing anti-satellite (ASAT) weapons.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Reader
    Mar 27, 2019 - 2:18PM

    Cheap trick. Generating more space junk. There are other proven clean ways of doing this Recommend

  • mikz22323
    Mar 27, 2019 - 3:31PM

    What is the evidence? they also did so called strikes with no evidence? without evidence no one would believe that. Show us pictures and videos of that.Recommend

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