India Shoots Down Satellite In Space; Modi Hails Major Breakthrough (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published March 27, 2019)
By Sanjeev Miglani, Krishna N. Das
NEW DELHI --- India has shot down a satellite in space with an anti-satellite missile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday, hailing the test as a major breakthrough in its space program.
Modi made the announcement in a television address to the nation. He said India would only be the fourth country to have used such an anti-satellite weapon after the United States, Russia and China.
Such capabilities have raised fears of the weaponization of space and setting off a race between rival powers.
“Some time ago, our scientists, shot down a live satellite 300 kilometers away in space, in low-earth orbit,” Modi said, calling it a historic feat.
“India has made an unprecedented achievement today,” he said, speaking in Hindi. “India registered its name as a space power.”
Modi faces a general election next month. He went on Twitter earlier to announce his plan for a national broadcast, saying he had an important announcement to make.
India has had a space program for years, making earth imaging satellites and launch capabilities as a cheaper alternative to Western programs. (end of excerpt)
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PM’s Address to the Nation
(Source: Indian Prime Minister’s Office; issued March 27, 2019)
The Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi addressed the nation today.
In a series of tweets, the Prime Minister said “In the journey of every nation there are moments that bring utmost pride and have a historic impact on generations to come. One such moment is today. India has successfully tested the Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile. Congratulations to everyone on the success of Mission Shakti.
Mission Shakti was a highly complex one, conducted at extremely high speed with remarkable precision. It shows the remarkable dexterity of India’s outstanding scientists and the success of our space programme.
Mission Shakti is special for 2 reasons:
(1) India is only the 4th country to acquire such a specialised & modern capability.
(2) Entire effort is indigenous.
“India stands tall as a space power! It will make India stronger, even more secure and will further peace and harmony.”