Ahead of the first phase of Lok Sabha elections on 11 April, Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation with an important message. PM Modi said that India has now entered the Super League with the new 'Mission Shakti' after it shot down low orbit live satellite. "India has entered its name as an elite space power. An anti-satellite weapon A-SAT successfully targeted a live satellite on a low earth orbit. It’s a matter of pride for all of us that it has been done by indigenously developed technology. I congratulate the scientists of DRDO," he said. 'Mission Shakti' operation was a difficult target to achieve which was completed successfully within three minutes of launch. To make positive changes in the lives of the people, we will have to adopt new changes, PM Modi said.
What are Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT)
Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT) are space weapons designed to incapacitate or destroy satellites for strategic military purposes. Several nations possess operational ASAT systems, with others in development or design. Any state that manages to get the upper hand in this frontier can be expected to dominate the outcome of any war. A state with command over space-based assets can jam enemy satellites or destroy them.
ASAT weapons are likely to be the most potent military tool for the armed forces to possess over the next few decades.
The three major powers-the US, Russia and China-have proven ASAT capabilities while several other space-faring nations are working on securing such assets. It is widely speculated that the US ASAT test in 2008 was in retaliation to the Chinese test in the previous year, even though the former already has a well established reputation in terms of this capability.
Some of the more technologically conceivable ASAT weapons of the future include pellet cloud attacks on low-orbit satellites, microsatellite technology and particle beam weapons.
The foremost aspect linked to an ASAT weapon is the type. There are a variety of ASAT capabilities that range from cyber-attacks on space systems, Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) explosion devices, directedenergy weapons and targeted missiles for destruction of satellites.