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India's A-SAT mission planned in a way that debris will decay soon: DRDO chief


New Delhi, Apr 11: Seeking to assuage concerns over the orbital debris created by India's A-SAT test, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) Chairman G Satheesh Reddy on Thursday again assured that the mission was planned in a way that the resulting fragments will decay in a few weeks and there was no threat to the ISS.

Indias A-SAT mission planned in a way that debris will decay soon: DRDO chief

Speaking at the Vivekananda International Foundation, a think-tank, Reddy said the location for the test was "well away" from the International Space Station (ISS). "The debris will decay in a few weeks. That's how the whole mission was planned," he said.

Noting that the A-SAT test was an exemplary effort reflecting India's indigenous defence technology, the DRDO Chief said more than 50 industries participated in the mission contributing 200 components to make the mission a success.

India shot down one of its satellites in space on March 27 with a ground-launched anti-satellite (A-SAT) missile to demonstrate this complex capability, joining the elite club of countries — the US, Russia and China — which have such capabilities.

The A-SAT test was successfully conducted with a new interceptor missile against a live orbiting satellite in the Low Earth Orbit (LEO) in a hit-to-kill mode. This had raised concerns about the threat the debris will pose to global space assets, including the ISS. During his address on Thursday, Reddy emphasised that India has to become self-sufficient in areas like making bulletproof jackets to manufacturing composite materials. He said the DRDO is also focussing on small arms like carbines.

"Not much has happened in the area of small arms. We have taken this up very seriously. Based on the RFP (Request for Proposal) floated by the armed forces, we have started developing some of them. Some have gone through trials," Reddy said.

Elaborating on the Pinaka multi-barrel rocket launcher, he said it has been converted into a 'guided Pinaka' with an extended range. It is, he said, in the process of induction into the Army.


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