New Delhi: Today Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared that India has successfully shot down an Indian satellite orbiting 300 kms above the Earth’s surface using Anti-Satellite (A-SAT) missile. With this successful test India becomes the fourth nation behind US, Russia, and China to achieve this capability.
While India is celebrating the unprecedented victory of its scientists at DRDO, there are nations that will surely feel threatened by India’s rising power into the unknown stretches of space.
Though, Narendra Modi said that the test is for India’s defence purposes and not targeted against any country, the achievement will be closely monitored by nations who have begun making big strides into space.
For the last several decades major powers have been vying against each other for dominance in space. They have realized that control of space is the key to security and supremacy in the coming future.
In 1983 the then US President Ronald Reagan sent ripples across the global community when he proposed the Strategic Defense Initiative to construct space based anti-missile system.
Coming to 2018, President Donald Trump announced setting up ‘Space Force’ as the sixth wing of the US military. He said that dominating space is crucial for the security of the country.
India also has an active presence in space and is one of the leading space faring nations of the world. We have around 80 satellites in orbit helping the country in fields of agriculture, defence, communication, weather, education, etc.
Protecting these assets is very crucial for the development of our nation. With India achieving the capability to down a satellite from ground it will act as a deterrent against other nations from attempting to disrupt our satellites in any manner.
This is one of the first steps for India entering the era of ‘Star Wars’ initiated by Reagan in 1983.
Our close neighbour China has an advanced space program and uses it to support its military capability. Like the Space Force announced by Donald Trump, the Chinese have their own ‘People’s Liberation Army Strategic Support Force’.
They are preparing their military for an active ‘space warfare’ which might be the norm in the coming future.
Advanced nations are arming themselves with many capabilities to tackle the coming era of possible space wars. With space technologies becoming available to private entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, the nature of business, warfare, and communication will witness a sea change.
India cannot afford to be left behind in this march towards the future. While we need to strongly stand for peace in outer space, we must also ensure that our strategic position is well protected.
The successful A-SAT missile test will send a strong signal to the world that India is ready to take on the enemy be it on the ground, seas, air, and even space.