Anti-satellite weapons are both rare and raw. Not many countries possess this technology and the test run of these tests have been few and far in between. Which is why India’s ‘Mission Shakti’ is both historic and remarkable.
India on Wednesday became the fourth country in the world to develop the technology to shoot down 'Low Orbit Satellites'. While doing so India joined USA, China and Russia in an elite group of nations to possess such advanced space technologies.
The first time a nation test fired this sort of weapon was USA in 1959 when the age of satellite was still in adolescence stage. Bold Orion, a nuclear ballistic missile was re-designed to attack satellites and launched from a bomber. It passed close enough to the Explorer 6 satellite for the scientists to determine that the satellite would have been destroyed had it been carrying a warhead
USA also carried out similar tests in 1985 and 2008
The then called USSR was the second country to test fire this technology. In 1960s and 1970s Soviet Union test fired several such missiles into the orbit.
Then in 2007 came the controversial test by China which generated a large a univocal condemnation from the global community.
In 2007 China destroyed a old weather satellite in a high, polar orbit. This was the most destructive test as it left a lot of debris and since low gravitational pull of the earth that far out the debris stayed in the orbit. This was condemned by the scientists around the world since the left-over debris had the potential of interfering with other space explorations and missions that are carried out in the future.
Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement that the test was carried out keeping in mind all the factors regarding the debris. The satellite was at a distance where all the debris would enter the atmosphere within a week.