The US has said it has taken note of India’s anti-satellite missile test but expressed concern over the issue of space debris. On Wednesday, India entered the elite club of global space power to have its own satellite weapon. In a highly-anticipated address to the nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced about ultra-secretive ‘Mission Shakti’, which lasted for just three minutes. “A while ago, India achieved a historic feat. India today registered itself as a space power. Till now, 3 countries of the world- America, Russia and China had this achievement. India is the 4th country to have achieved this feat,” PM Modi said in his address to the nation.
To a question, US state department the spokesperson said that as part of “our strong strategic partnership with India, we will continue to pursue shared interests in space and scientific and technical cooperation, including collaboration on safety and security in space.
However, the spokesperson expressed concern over the issue of space debris.
The issue of space debris is an important concern for the U.S. government. We took note of Indian government statements that the test was designed to address space debris issues, the spokesperson said.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said the test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure there is no space debris. “Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks,” it said.
The MEA has also come out with a 10-point explainer to say the anti-satellite missile test was carried out to verify India’s capability to safeguard space assets and that it was not directed against any country.
Mission Shakti was led by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, was aimed at strengthening India’s overall security. The Prime Minister had advertised his address to the nation on Twitter, calling it an important message. “Do watch the address on television, radio or social media,” he said, setting off speculation across the country on what the topic was likely to be. Earlier on Wednesday, the Cabinet Committee on Security had met at the Prime Minister’s residence.