India Shoots Down Satellite

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently announced that his nation had shot down a low-orbit satellite in a military test. In his comments, Mr. Modi noted India had not violated international law, and that India was not weaponizing space.

One Indian space expert stated, “A ground-based missile defense interceptor system was used to destroy the satellite. If some country or adversary places a satellite for intelligence or for troubling India, India now has the capability to remove such an irritant” (Deutsche Welle, March 27, 2019). Pakistan’s foreign minister condemned India’s achievement, stating, “Space is the common heritage of mankind and every nation has the responsibility to avoid actions which can lead to the militarization of this arena.” India and Pakistan have been in protracted conflict over the disputed territory of Kashmir. 

India is one of several nations working hard to exploit space. They have sent probes to Mars and the moon and intend a manned space mission by 2022. Other nations are also working to militarize space, and the President of the United States has described forming a “space force” as another branch of the U.S. armed services. Space is seen by some as “the final frontier” and a necessary domain of the military. Will mankind further militarize space, and will we fight future wars in space? To find out, be sure to view our telecast entitled “Space Wars.”