Title: Seeking the next frontier
Issue: ASAT missile
Syllabus: General Studies-III - Science and Technology - Space Technologies
Context: India recently tested Anti satellite Missile ASAT.
- There is no international treaty prohibiting the testing or the development of ASATs.
- It is a technological trademark for India as these manoeuvres need high precision.
- As like other countries, India also developed ASAT as part of Ballistic missile defence shield.
- USA, Russia included their kinetic kill interceptor techniques and developed co orbital anti satellite systems and directed energy laser systems. These can neutralise a satellite with out fragmenting it. So, there will be no space Debris.
- Space debris form dead satellites is growing. Debris from anti satellite missiles is adding up to it. China’s anti satellite missile released close to 3000 pieces of debris. They are a threat to orbiting satellites. On the other side, India tested ASAT missile on a satellite in low earth orbit to keep the debris minimum.
- The U.S., Russia and China — have set up ‘Space Commands’. This has given rise to demands to prevent the militarisation of space.
- The 1967 outer space treaty and moon treaty of 1979 laid foundations for legal regime for space.
- Rule of law, refraining from appropriating territory, non placement of any weapons of mass destruction in space, prohibition of military activities on the moon and other celestial bodies are the various provisions of this.
- USA is not interested to negotiate any legally binding space treaty for prevention of militarisation of space. It wants to maintain its hegemony.
- UN also called for political commitment by all countries that they shall not be the first to place weapons in space. No action moved forward.
Evidence : nil
Take home points
India’s ASAT test has not violated any norm, but it is a reminder of the need for a global regulatory regime
|#||Previous UPSC Question||Marks||Year|
|1||India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbitter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Explain critically||10||2017|
|2||India has achieved remarkable successes in unmanned space missions including the Chandrayaan and Mars Orbitter Mission, but has not ventured into manned space mission, both in terms of technology and logistics? Explain critically.||13||2016|
|3||What do you understand by ‘Standard Positioning Systems’ and ‘Protection Positioning Systems’ in the GPS era? Discuss the advantages India perceives from its ambitious IRNSS programme employing just seven satellites. (200 words)||13||2015|
|4||The safe landing of the “Curiosity” Rover under NASA’s space programme has sparked many possibilities. What are those and how could humankind benefit from them?||30||2012|
|5||What do you know about Indian Regional National Satellite Systems? Describe its important features. (150 words) 10 marks||30||2008|
|6||What is the significance of the geostationary orbit? What would happen if it becomes too crowded? (250 words)||2000|
|7||Describe how India's space programme has helped in its socio-economic development (About 250 words).||1996|
|8||What is PSLV? Describe its significance for India's space programme (150 words)||1995|
|9||Trace the progress of India's Space Research Programmes? What are its significant achievements? (150 words)||1991|
Currently there are no previous questions available.