India Successfully Tests Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile Against Live Low-Earth Orbit Satellite

India has successfully tested its first Anti-Satellite (ASAT) missile against a live satellite in the Low-Earth Orbit (LEO), on March 27, 2019.

The milestone was announced by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Twitter.

The test, codenamed ‘Mission Shakti’, was conducted by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

During the test, a DRDO-developed Ballistic Missile Defence (BMD) Interceptor Missile was launched at around 11:16am on Wednesday from the DRDO’s testing range on the Dr. Abdul Kalam Island (formerly known as Wheeler Island), an island off the coast of Odisha state located in eastern India. The interceptor then engaged an Indian orbiting target satellite in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) at an altitude of 300km in a ‘Hit to Kill’ mode. The interceptor missile was a three-stage missile with two solid rocket boosters.

The entire test, with confirmation of target elimination, reportedly took 3 minutes. Tracking data from range sensors has confirmed that the mission met all its objectives, said an Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) statement released following the announcement.

With the test, India joined an elite club of nations capable of destroying a satellite with a missile launched from the ground. Only three nations — United States, Russia and China — has earlier demonstrated this capability.

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