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Mission Shakti

Mission Shakti was undertaken to develop highly-potent Anti-satellite weapons (ASAT). It is a joint programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Anti-satellite (ASAT) System is missile-based system to attack moving satellites. 

  • ASAT propels India to the coveted space-superpower league.
  • India will now have the power to decimate satellites for pure military and strategic purpose.
  • With this missile, India will have the capability to interfere with satellites or engage in direct attacks.
  • ASAT missile can be air, sea or land-based.

Why is it made to destroy Satellites?

  • Satellites assume a great importance now-a days, because it is a part of critical civil and defence infrastructure of any country, manifested in the fact that a large number of crucial applications are dependent on it.
  • These include navigation systems, communication networks, broadcasting, banking systems, stock markets, weather forecasting, disaster management, land and ocean mapping and monitoring tools, and military applications.
  • Destroying a satellite would render these applications useless. It can cripple enemy infrastructure without causing any threat to human lives.
  • Outer space is also emerging as the fourth arena of warfare. Hostile state and non-state actors can therefore damage Indian space assets.
  • The ASAT capability has created some deterrence against potential hostile behaviour against Indian interests.

Background:

Kessler Syndrome

  • The Kessler syndrome (also called the Kessler effect, collisional cascading or ablation cascade), proposed by the NASA scientist Donald J. Kessler in 1978, is a scenario in which the density of objects in low Earth orbit (LEO) is high enough that collisions between objects could cause a cascade where each collision generates space debris that increases the likelihood of further collisions.
  • One implication is that the distribution of debris in orbit could render space activities and the use of satellites in specific orbital ranges impractical for many generations.
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