India claims to be the fourth country to conduct such tests.
India hit a satellite in space with an anti-satellite missile. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a “major breakthrough” for the space program. This was reported by Reuters, referring to the performance of Modi on national television.
According to the Prime Minister, India has become the fourth country in the world after the United States, Russia and China, who conducted similar tests. Authorities shot down a satellite, which was located 300 kilometers from Earth in low earth orbit.
As Modi noted, in this way India confirmed its right to be called a space power. The speech of the Prime Minister passed a month before the next elections.
The first country to carry out such tests was America. The USA shot down its Explorer 6 satellite back in 1959, after which the USSR also developed anti-satellite missiles.
One of the last anti-satellite missile showed China. As noted in Reuters, in 2007, the country hit a satellite and created the largest orbital debris cloud in history with 3,000 debris.
India launched the space program in 1979 and became the seventh space power at the time. The country is one of the few who independently launch satellites, return vehicles, interplanetary stations and commercial missions on their rockets.
As of 2017, India’s space program employed 16,000 people, and its annual budget was about a billion dollars. As noted at Reuters, the Indian program is a cheap alternative to Western programs. In 2021, India intends to become a space superpower, launching the first manned mission on its own ship.