When China shot down an ageing weather satellite by launching a missile in 2007, then ISRO chairman G Madhavan Nair had said the move was against international convention and that it would would result in space pollution. On Wednesday, he said that India had the technology in 2007 to undertake a mission similar to China but there was no political will.
Nair, who joined the BJP last year, told PTI on Wednesday, “Modiji has taken the initiative and he had the political will and courage to say that we will do this. We have now demonstrated this to whole world.” India had the anti-satellite missile capability more than a decade ago but there was no political will at the time to demonstrate it, he said.
Nair headed the ISRO, Space Commission, and was Secretary in the Department of Space from 2003 to 2009.
Asked if India could have demonstrated the capability in 2007 itself, Nair said “certainly”, but it could not be done due to absence of “political decision”. “Now, Modiji has courageously taken the decision,” he said.
After China’s move in 2007, Nair had said, “They (China) should not have done that. It’s against international convention…. we are not supposed to weaponise outer space… by killing a satellite, you create much more debris. Today about 8,000 objects are there in orbit. By blasting one satellite, you create another few hundred (objects). I don’t know why they did that.”
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