Post-ASAT, India sees role in drafting space laws

Post-ASAT, India sees role in drafting space laws

India's anti-satellite test 283km over the Bay of Bengal had been specially created to minimise debris risk to the International Space Station (ISS) that was at the time 120km higher over the North Atlantic, the country's chief defence research scientist said on Saturday.

DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy clarified that there was no possibility of debris from the ASAT test conducted by India on March 27 hitting the International Space Station (ISS).

"Firstly, the Mission has been created to see that debris decays very fast and it has been designed in a manner that minimal debris goes up", he said at a program organised here to give more information about the Anti-Satellite test.

Reacting to former Union Minister P Chidambaram's statement where he said that such capabilities need to be kept secret, he said, "A mission of this nature after the test is conducted can not be kept secret technically". That will cover most of the orbiting satellites in LEO.

He added that all necessary permissions were taken before conducting the test.

The US's surveillance and warning network was able to detect India's missile launch in low earth orbit which was aimed at one of its own satellites.

The DRDO has ruled out future anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile tests in the lower earth orbit, but hinted at keeping the options open for possible experiments in higher orbits. "The objective was to avoid the threat of debris to any global space assets", Reddy said.

The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is addressing the media in Delhi on Mission Shakti project.

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On the issue of militarisation of space, Dr. Reddy said space had gained importance in the military domain.

India's recent test of anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile has been termed as "a awful, bad thing" by NASA. "If a space command needs to be formulated, it is the decision of the government".

"We do not need any more tests in this orbit now".

He further said that with the successful "capability demonstration" test, "Hit-to-kill was achieved against live satellite with an accuracy of less than 10 cm". The best way to ensure security is to have deterrence.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has hailed the A-SAT test's success as "an unprecedented achievement" that makes India "a space power".

Nearly all the technologies used for the ASAT test were indigenously developed with some 50 industries contributing components for the 13 metre missiles weighing 19 tonnes. The idea began around 2014 and development started in 2016 with a go-ahead from the government.

About 150 scientists worked round-the-clock in the past six months and about 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries.

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