India Prime Minister Modi Declares His Country Is Now A “Space Power”

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India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that his country had successfully shot down an Indian satellite in the country’s first test of anti-satellite weaponry.

Modi said in an address on state television that his country had reaffirmed its status as a “space power” with the test and noted that the test had occurred in the lower atmosphere, according to Reuters.

“Our scientists, shot down a live satellite 300 kilometers away in space, in low-earth orbit,” Modi told viewers in his speech Wednesday.

India’s foreign ministry confirmed that the test lasted about three minutes and would result in any debris from the explosion “decay[ing] and fall[ing] back onto the earth within weeks.”

“The capability achieved through the anti-satellite missile test provides credible deterrence against threats to our growing space-based assets from long-range missiles, and proliferation in the types and numbers of missiles,” a statement from the foreign ministry read, according to Reuters.

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