India Joins Space ‘Super League’ As It Shoots Down a Satellite for the First Time
Less than a month before the Indian general elections, the country has shot down one of its own satellites as part of a test of its anti-satellite weapons systems. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who aims to be reelected, said that the successful test “made India a much stronger nation.”
Modi stressed that the test was not intended to provoke anyone. “India has always been opposed to the weaponization of space and an arms race in outer space, and this test does not in any way change this position,” the prime minister said. However, neighboring Pakistan reacted to the announcement by urging countries “to avoid actions which can lead to the militarization” of space, adding that “boasting” of capabilities in space “is reminiscent of Don Quixote’s tilting against windmills.”
Even though India emphasized that the test was carried out at a low-orbit to avoid harmful debris, acting US Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan expressed concern about a possible “mess” in space as a result of the test.