New Delhi/Washington, March 28: After India’s anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile successfully targeted a live satellite on a low earth orbit on Wednesday, US Defence Secretary Patrick Shanahan warned other countries against carrying out any such test. Shanahan asked nations not to make ‘a mess’ in space, adding that the United States was studying the outcome of the missile that India launched targetting its own satellite. The space operation was codenamed Mission Shakti.
“My message would be: We all live in space, let’s not make it a mess. Space should be a place where we can conduct business. Space is a place where people should have the freedom to operate,” Shanahan told reporters in Florida during a visit to the US military’s Southern Command, reported Reuters. India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Wednesday said it kept in mind concerns related to debris in space. Need to Address Gaps in International Space Laws, Says Pakistan After India’s A-SAT Test.
“The test was done in the lower atmosphere to ensure that there is no space debris. Whatever debris that is generated will decay and fall back onto the earth within weeks,” the MEA said. It came 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.
The MEA also said in a statement that India has no intention of entering into an arms race in outer space. However, a senior US military official told lawmakers in Washington that the United States was tracking about 270 objects from India’s test, a number that would likely grow as the fragments spread out. China Reacts to India’s Anti-Satellite Missile Test, Says ‘Hope India Will Safeguard Peace in Outer Space’.
On Wednesday, India’s anti-satellite weapon A-SAT successfully destroyed a satellite on a low earth orbit, joining a group of three countries – the US, Russia and China – with such capability. “The ‘Mission Shakti’ operation was a difficult target to achieve, which was completed successfully within three minutes of the launch,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in his address to the nation.