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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Mission 'Shakti' places the Nation on a high orbit


Another significant milestone for the Nation ..  Today expectations rose high and anxiety hung in air as our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modiji  tweeted that he would be addressing the nation at around 11:45 am to 12.00 noon with an important message. "Do watch the address on television, radio or social media," he had said without indicating what it could be about.

Nation has moved forward long after ‘Aryabhatta’ launched on 19.4.1975 from Kapustin Yar, a Russian rocket launch and development. It was built by the Indian Space Research Organisation. The launch came from an agreement between India and the Soviet Union directed by UR Rao and signed in 1972. It allowed the USSR to use Indian ports for tracking ships and launching vessels in return for launching Indian satellites. Aryabhatta is the first man made (artificial) Indian satellite.  The satellite returned to the Earth's atmosphere on 11 Feb 1992.

A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is an Earth-centered orbit with an altitude of 2,000 km (1,200 mi) or less (approximately one third of the radius of Earth), or with at least 11.25 periods per day (an orbital period of 128 minutes or less) and an eccentricity less than 0.25.  Most of the manmade objects in space are in LEO.  The LEO region is defined by some sources as the region in space that LEO orbits occupy.  The International Space Station conducts operations in LEO. All crewed space stations to date, as well as the majority of satellites, have been in LEO.

Today as most of the Nation was glued to the media, PM Modiji began his address to the nation.  He stated that an anti-satellite missile destroyed a live satellite in 3 minutes ~ and with this the Nation  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. 'Mission Shakti' operation was a difficult target to achieve which was completed successfully within three minutes of launch. India has registered herself as a space power today; till now only US, Russia and China have achieved this; now India is the 4th country to achieve this feat: said our honourable PM

Today, we have enough satellites that are contributing in various segments such as agriculture, disaster management, communication, weather, navigation etc; PM Modiji added that – “I assure the world community that our new prowess is not against anyone”.  The A-SAT missile will give new strength to India's space programme. Mission Shakti is special for 2 reasons -- India is only the fourth country to acquire such a specialised and modern capability, and the 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," PM Modi said in a tweet after his address to the nation.
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. 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.

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.

Today is an important milestone with India becoming super power capability of ASAT made indigenously.  Great !!

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
27th Mar 2019.


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