Politics

India Shoots Down Satellite One Day After US Star Wars Test

India Shoots Down Satellite
Kremlin.ru [CC BY 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons
India shoots down a satellite, according to reports from CNBC. These reports come following a speech by the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi. During the speech Modi said, “some time ago, our scientists shot down a live satellite some 300 kilometers away in low earth orbit.” Speaking in his native tongue of Hindi, Modi stated, “India has made an unprecedented achievement today…India registered its name as a space power.” India’s space program has been in development for years, but has not reached the same level of achievement as China, Russia, or the United States.

India’s Space Program Could Impact Relations With Pakistan

ValueWalk recently reported on the continuing tension between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir region. The two countries have fought three major wars since 1947, and there have been many instances of violence in the region. In February a suicide bomber claimed the lives of more than 40 Indian military personnel who were acting as security forces in Kashmir.

India’s ability to shoot down a satellite could greatly impact its relationship with Pakistan, as it appears that Modi wants to flex the Indian military’s muscles. We recently reported that Pakistan had struck a major deal with China regarding its missile program and had purchased a powerful optical tracking system.

India Shoots Down Satellite – US Fires Up Star Wars Again

The news from India comes just two days after reports surfaced that the US missile defense system, commonly known as STAR WARS, underwent testing on Monday. According to CNN, the US launched two ground based missile interceptors from Vandenberg, California. The US defense system is much more advanced than that of India. While missiles from India shot down a satellite, the US is able to target incoming missiles.

These interceptors are designed to target and destroy Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) that could be carrying nuclear warheads. The tests come following months of rumors that North Korea has the capability to launch missiles like this into the US. The purpose of the test was to ensure that US defense systems would be able to distinguish enemy missiles from other electronic devices that clutter the airspace around the earth.

US and China Have Been Shooting Satellites For Years

The US performed its first satellite defense test in 1959 by launching a nuclear tipped missile from a bomber. The missile passed close enough to Bold Orion that it would have destroyed it, had the nuclear tip been activated.

The Soviet Union also conducted tests beginning in the 1960’s that continued into the 70’s. China joined the fray in 2007. Now, with the announcement that India has the ability to shoot down a satellite, there is another power to be considered.

Recent Events Have Tensions High

The world as we see it today can be a dangerous place. Recent events in Venezuela have increased tension between the US and Russia. North Korea is on the radar of every nation in the world, with its capability to launch nuclear missiles. The Middle East is still a very active area in terms of conflict. The advances of India’s space program could give it capabilities feared by its neighbors. All of this can be unsettling to say the least.

However, recent meetings between President Trump and Kim Jung-Un of North Korea give hope that a new agreement will soon be reached. Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and India, though strained, do remain in place. There is hope that many of these possible conflicts can be resolved before they lead to more bloodshed in countries that are already hurting.