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India conducted a surprise test of an anti-satellite weapon today, smashing an obsolete friendly satellite to bits. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi stated that the successful test proved the country was capable of defending itself on “land, water and air, but now also in space.” India is now the fourth country to test anti-satellite weapons.
The test, code-named “Shakti” (“power”) in Hindi, used a missile to intercept a satellite, which experts believe was Microsat-r (SATNO 43947, 2019-006A). Microsat-r was reportedly an Indian spy satellite weighing approximately 1,600 pounds. It was in low Earth orbit at an altitude of 274 kilometers (170 miles).
/4 Microsat-r was reportedly an Indian military military imaging satellite of decent size (740 kg,