Mission Shakti: Debris will decay in 45 days, says DRDO chief

India's ASAT debris expected to burn up in atmosphere says Pentagon

With 830 satellites, United States leads the world in the number of satellites, followed by China with 280 satellites.

Earlier this month, the chief of NASA had said, India shooting down of one of its own satellites was a "terrible thing" as it created about 400 pieces of orbital debris. "From our simulation, we can very clearly say that the possibilities of (debris) hitting the ISS are not there", Reddy said. "If a space command needs to be formulated, it is the decision of the government". "Best way of defence is to have deterrence". "The entire debris will decay in 45 days", said Satheesh Reddy, chairman of the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), at a news conference in capital New Delhi, local Daily Tribune reported.

Reacting to Congress leader P. Chidambaram's comment that it was foolish to let out secrets such as possession of such a technology, Reddy said mission of this nature post-test can not be kept secret technically as a satellite is tracked by many stations across the world.

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. "As we explained, in 2014 the discussions on this started and in 2016, a presentation was given to the highest office".

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Speaking about the reports of a failed test in February this year before the actual test, Reddy said, "DRDO has been regularly conducting some tests with electronic targets".

"We don't need any more tests in this (lower earth) orbit now", said Reddy. Some 150 scientists worked round-the-clock and some 2,000 components were sourced from 50 private industries. Reddy added that the country has shown ground-based direct hit deterrence capability and it works for the defence also.

Asked if India has informed US or other nations about the test, Saran admitted that India was "in touch" with other space powers. "We have had several statements from the USA, as far as India is concerned the official position is contained in the State Department statement".

Meanwhile, on March 27, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India has entered the elite space superpower category with the successful testing of an anti-satellite weapon under Mission Shakti.

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