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What is LEO satellite? How India accomplished ultra secretive Mission Shakti

Within 3 Minutes, India Destroyed A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Satellite 300 Km Away Through An Anti-Satellite Missile.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Srishty Choudhury | Updated on: 27 Mar 2019, 01:53:28 PM
Most of the manmade objects in space are in LEO. (Representational photo)

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced India’s anti-satellite missile system with a successful test against a low earth orbit (LEO) satellite, which has been codenamed 'Mission Shakti'. Within 3 minutes, India destroyed a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite 300 km away through an Anti-Satellite Missile; it needed very precise expertise of technology, said PM Narendra Modi in his address to the nation.

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So what exactly is a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite? Know here:

  • A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is an earth-centered orbit with an altitude of 2,000 km or less (approximately one-third of the radius of Earth), or with at least 11.25 periods per day (an orbital period of 128 minutes or less) and an eccentricity less than 0.25.
  • Most of the manmade objects in space are in LEO. 
  • LEO satellite systems used in telecommunication, which orbit between 400 and 1,000 miles above the earth's surface.
  • They are used mainly for data communication such as email, video conferencing and paging.
  • They move at extremely high speeds and are not fixed in space in relation to the earth.
  • A histogram of the mean motion of the cataloged objects shows that the number of objects drops significantly beyond 11.25.
  • Apart from India, only the United States of America, Russia and China have the capability of shooting down satellites in the LEO (Lower Earth Orbit) as it requires a great technological know-how and execution abilities to hit a target hundreds of kilometres above the surface of the planet.
  • The atmospheric drag on objects due to the elements present between thermosphere and exosphere can be high and manoeuvring a missile through the same and hitting a target is quite a tricky thing.

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First Published : 27 Mar 2019, 12:45:42 PM