Indian ASAT Test

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Picklu
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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Picklu » 28 Mar 2019 22:24

ArjunPandit wrote:the comments of daily mail made my day ....aak thoo..



I thought of writing the below but too lazy to create an account; may be someone with an account will do the honour
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Am an Indian and after every missile or space launch I rush to daily mail comments section just to savour the delicious "aid" whine :)
Btw, It's not aid; it's a token of repentance for the trillions looted before 1947; and this repentance should continue for the next few millennia given the magnitude of loot.
Also, given the loot till 1947 and the respective financial situation of the 2 countries then vs now, it is quite clear that India spends money much better than UK (and no credit to UK on this wisdom given its own current financial position despite the loot); in fact, UK should be ashamed to even mention poor in UK after looting India so much. Hence UK should send more, much more, to India, every year, for the sake of mankind :p
Any amount spent on UK is the amount wasted (relatively, compared to India, given the relative postion of the countries in 1947 and now)

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ArjunPandit » 28 Mar 2019 22:31

ramana wrote:Now I am convinced the Chinese attacked RiaSAT1 and disabled it. And as usual US kept quiet and chuckled silently.
Now the two year go ahead for Mission Shakti makes sense.
1 Riasat disabled
2 Dokhlam incident created
3 India counters Dokhlam
4. #Pulwama go ahead given to PAK after last day of Lok Sabha while NaMo govt is theoretically lame duck tied down by Election Code?
5. Putting all this in perspective US knew India will test such ASAT.
AP: Not sure about that. There are a lot of assumptions broken by this govt.
RISAT death - Dokhlam after that. DRDO going quiet. MicrosatR launch as target in Jan.
It was matter of time and not if.
AP: Knowing modi yes


I think it makes quite a lot of sense. IIRC it was not one sattelite, two sattelites failed in quick succession.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby disha » 28 Mar 2019 22:35

rohitv wrote:Per twitter Microsat-R can still be tracked online? How is that possible if it was destroyed? Can anyone explain?


Give it a couple of weeks. And if it is still flying, then a different 'micro sat' was taken out. Problem with a very large sat like microsat-R will be

1. Large debris field, it is a large object and chances of large debris is higher. Was it guaranteed that the HTK vehicle will punch through the solar panels only?

2. Fuel tanks! If a sat is large and is planned for say 2-3 years in LEO, then it needs fuel for station keeping. Think of this way, if microsat-R was to be targeted, which was launched in Feb and if for some reason the ASAT is postponed to say even 1 month later, will not that time delay impact the orbit of microsat-R? So to keep in station as target, additional fuel would have been kept in tanks. Problem is that the fuel is hypergolic and any impact to the tanks will blow the sat up creating an even larger debris field.

My take is even simpler., when go ahead was given - one of the defunct micro sat (there was one launched for 600 km orbit by PSLV-C40) was used. Very small sats are ideal targets. Proves your centimeter CEP, chances of smaller debris field and less fuel energy stored in its tanks. And anyway PSLV launches micro sats every launch, now a days, its own PS4 stage is a micro satellite!

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 28 Mar 2019 22:39

ArjunPandit wrote:
ramana wrote:Now I am convinced the Chinese attacked RiaSAT1 and disabled it. And as usual US kept quiet and chuckled silently.
Now the two year go ahead for Mission Shakti makes sense.



I think it makes quite a lot of sense. IIRC it was not one satellite, two satellites failed in quick succession.


If true, ISRO and India has to make a formal accusation against China, and threaten retaliation, whether economic, political or in-kind

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ramana » 28 Mar 2019 22:42

Primus wrote:I've been getting goose pimples all day since I read about this. What a monumental achievement for India.

Dad was a DRDO scientist and dedicated his entire life to India's missile program. He would have been so proud of his beloved organization today. I am sure he is watching and smiling.

Imagine what another five years under Modi would do for India's defense capabilities!

Jai Hind and Jai Ma Bharati!

Primus, Many pranams to your father and your family!!!!

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ramana » 28 Mar 2019 22:45

Varoon Shekhar wrote:
ArjunPandit wrote:
I think it makes quite a lot of sense. IIRC it was not one sattelite, two sattelites failed in quick succession.


If true, ISRO and India has to make a formal accusation against China, and threaten retaliation, whether economic, political or in-kind


Can you get that silly Nehruvian thinking out!
That's how we ended up in the Kashmir UN mess.

:(( doesn't get you respect.
The ASAT does. Just like POK II did.
And go back and read NaMo speech about three objectives.
now all makes sense.
Running to courts is the stupidest legacy we got.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ramana » 28 Mar 2019 22:49

Arjun Pandit which other satellite was disabled in rapid succession?

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Varoon Shekhar » 28 Mar 2019 23:01

The two - making the formal accusation right at the government to government level and strengthening India's ASAT, and any other military capability - are not mutually exclusive.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby saip » 28 Mar 2019 23:05

Just a question. Do we have to hit to kill a satellite to disable it? Can't we aim to miss it by a few yards (the CEP of ASAT missile is claimed to be 10cm) and fire some steel balls or set off a tiny explosion in the path of the satellite? I should think this would disable the satellite without creating a large debris field.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby disha » 28 Mar 2019 23:10

Including AP's comments
ramana wrote:Now I am convinced the Chinese attacked RiaSAT1 and disabled it. And as usual US kept quiet and chuckled silently.
Now the two year go ahead for Mission Shakti makes sense.
1 Riasat disabled
2 Dokhlam incident created
3 India counters Dokhlam
4. #Pulwama go ahead given to PAK after last day of Lok Sabha while NaMo govt is theoretically lame duck tied down by Election Code?
5. Putting all this in perspective US knew India will test such ASAT.
AP: Not sure about that. There are a lot of assumptions broken by this govt.
RISAT death - Dokhlam after that. DRDO going quiet. MicrosatR launch as target in Jan.
It was matter of time and not if.
AP: Knowing modi yes


If ChiCom took out Risat-1, then it shows them to be extremely stupid and arrogant. Worse than Bakis in being tactically brilliant and strategically stupid.

India in 2016 was already a major space power and if not ahead of ChiCom was definitely at par! By taking out India's RISAT they would have enhanced the weaponization of ASAT by India!! Which nation would do that? And once India does that, what will it stop from India taking out ChiCom sats with the same plausible deniability?

Either we have to admit that ChiCom is stupid and arrogant and will jeopardize entire humanity unless the fire is under their a$$ *or* it is possible that RiSat could have failed for other reasons and the timing could have been just coincidental.

Doklam happened because ChiCom tried to pull something like Nawaz-Sharif and Musharaff tried to pull on India. In case of Doklam, it was not Vajpayee but Modi at helm and had the past experience with bakis to guide him with baki masters in ChiCom. Further Eleven ping ping wanted to get a favorable outcome from India (read arunachal pradesh, sikkim and Dalai lama) and got none on that count. Doklam in that was a pressure point on pushing India back using a page from Mao (which is already outdated).

So tying Doklam with an iffy issue with RiSat might be stretching it a little bit.

Pulwama is a different side show. The jehadis are pushed to a corner and they are losing the attrition war. They needed something spectacular to turn the tide and they did not expect that the nuclear bluff of their jehadi masters would be called off.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby disha » 28 Mar 2019 23:17

saip wrote:Just a question. Do we have to hit to kill a satellite to disable it? Can't we aim to miss it by a few yards (the CEP of ASAT missile is claimed to be 10cm) and fire some steel balls or set off a tiny explosion in the path of the satellite? I should think this would disable the satellite without creating a large debris field.


Firing some steel balls in the path of the sat. is still a "hit" and will create a debris field as well.

On tiny explosions, remember space is largely a vacuum - so there is no pressure shock wave to disable a sat. From this point on, one can go creative, like put plastic balls with hypergolic fuel in separate cells (like in honeycomb) which splatter the target satellite and burn up most of its circuits. Or chase down the sat and sling it and do a control burn and bring it down to a lower orbit. It all falls under weaponization of space.

Demonstrating an ascent ASAT with HTK is tough since it is not the HTK, but the precision (centimeter CEP), the identification (radars and classification) and launch (mobile platforms with 3-stage rockets) and in general the C3I (command, control, communication and intelligence) processes associated with it that is being demonstrated*

*And personally I doubt if ChiComm has any of that sorted out beyond science experiment. Claiming a capability is one, but showing it and *not* in grainy photos taken behind the trees is another. That is the difference between what we show and what ChiCom shows. We show our missiles in front of trees. And they show their missiles behind trees (if at all they show).

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Kakarat » 28 Mar 2019 23:20

saip wrote:Just a question. Do we have to hit to kill a satellite to disable it? Can't we aim to miss it by a few yards (the CEP of ASAT missile is claimed to be 10cm) and fire some steel balls or set off a tiny explosion in the path of the satellite? I should think this would disable the satellite without creating a large debris field.


A tiny explosion will still destroy at least the kill vehicle and that too would create debris

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Indranil » 28 Mar 2019 23:20

I agree with Disha. I don't think China would do this. Aam aadmi can't put 2+2 together. Chinese strategist don't need to be told that given the building blocks India had in 2016, it can develop and test an ASAT in two years. Also knowing Modi, if they took out one of ours, we would have took out one of theirs. This KV can reach 1000 kms.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby sanjaykumar » 28 Mar 2019 23:46

Does an ASAT capability translate into ABM capacity? I would think satellite interception is more akin to a head on collision that a a missile which necessitates alt-azimuth corrections and projections.

Presumably the simplest way to HTK a satellite is to enter the same orbit, with guidance/correction as needed, and wait for collision. This is not quite using a bullet to hit a bullet.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby disha » 29 Mar 2019 00:11

sanjaykumar wrote:Does an ASAT capability translate into ABM capacity? I would think satellite interception is more akin to a head on collision that a a missile which necessitates alt-azimuth corrections and projections.

Presumably the simplest way to HTK a satellite is to enter the same orbit, with guidance/correction as needed, and wait for collision. This is not quite using a bullet to hit a bullet.


ASAT translates into ABM against ICBM types. At 7km/sec, the BM will travel the distance of Mumbai to Vadodra in 10 @1 min (corrected: :(( not sure how I ended up with such a number!). IRBM and ICBM, particularly later are in some sense sub-orbital flights.

Any trajectory intersection (orbital or sub-orbital) is a hit to kill. In chase-down mode, you are as much launching a satellite. In head-on mode, you are primarily interested in trajectory intersection. The rest of it fall in that "180*" line.

All the high school questions like "Find where two parabolas y= -2(x-3)^2 + 4 and y=2(x-2)^2 -1 intersect each other. " become interesting now. Except in a 3-dimensional space. More interesting will be in a 3-dimensional space projecting out of a sphere!

Remember, by launching MOM to Mars, it was basically solving precise intersection of orbits. If we could do that all the way to Mars which has a velocity of 86,871 kilometers per hour, then we can as well do intersections for flying objects at 25,000 kilometers per hour (ICBM).
Last edited by disha on 29 Mar 2019 02:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Indranil » 29 Mar 2019 00:23

disha wrote:ASAT translates into ABM against ICBM types. At 7km/sec, the BM will travel the distance of Mumbai to Vadodra in 10 mins. IRBM and ICBM, particularly later are in some sense sub-orbital flights.

in 50 seconds

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby nam » 29 Mar 2019 00:40

What we should target for is hitting Pak BM in boost phase. Either air launched hypersonics or land based ABM with Russian style hypersonic booster.

I expect we will get a window of 90 seconds (may be 120 seconds) when the Pak BM will be most vulnerable. Since they are coming towards us, the we don't need long range ABM. We just need very fast ones.

Pak know this is coming, hence the bluster about CM based "all spectrum" nuke threat.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2019 01:39

Singha or anyone, I recall a few years ago we had pictures from an airline pilot who thought he was witnessing a Chinese ASAT launch. The pictures and discussion was posted Milf Forum. Can anyone locate them. I am interested in when and where it was spotted.
Thanks in advance.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Shameek » 29 Mar 2019 03:48

^^ Is it this one by the Dutch cargo pilot?

Link

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Karan M » 29 Mar 2019 03:49

Ramana sir see this USI presentation on ASAT.

Its from 2013. Clearly, the rationale was there and need was pressing.

UPA sat on this.

https://slideplayer.com/slide/2370938/

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Re: Indian ASAT test

Postby Amber G. » 29 Mar 2019 04:09

ramana wrote:
chetak wrote:haven't they forgotten motilal??


Image


Idiots this #Mission Shakti is by DRDO.

Besides Nehruji died in 1964 ... ISRO came into existence in 15th August 1969..(They deleted/retweeted/ corrected the tweet later to put IG's name..)

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby krishna_krishna » 29 Mar 2019 06:38

Good insights by Dr. V K Saraswat on history and working of the strategic programs:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHpXIea ... e=youtu.be

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2019 06:55

Shameek wrote:^^ Is it this one by the Dutch cargo pilot?

Link


Thanks for the link

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2019 07:01

Karan M wrote:Ramana sir see this USI presentation on ASAT.

Its from 2013. Clearly, the rationale was there and need was pressing.

UPA sat on this.

https://slideplayer.com/slide/2370938/


Very compelling.
Thanks

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Sanju » 29 Mar 2019 08:48

Has anyone heard the speech given by the PM in Akhnoor?

Apparently, PM mentioned that "We did Surgical Strikes through Land, Air & now Space". This is the tweet mentioning it.

Patel
‏ @rajpatel63
12h12 hours ago

@narendramodi 's speeches always have deep & cryptic message! Here are 3 points
1.India shot down a live Satellite (Not said own)
2.We have not violate any int law
3.We did #SurgicalStrike through Land, air, & now space!
What does it mean? Enemy's illegal rented Sat taken out?


Was it a slip of the tongue regarding the Surgical Strike by Space?

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Singha » 29 Mar 2019 08:48

The other sat was gsat6a launched around march28 208

Something went wrong during its orbit raising manouvers

Per raj47 pix china is setting up large ground based lasers to targets sats and they had ability to track and dazzle a americAn satellite even in 2006 as noted by gotus

So i dont what is the range

Risat1 qas anyway low hanging fruit

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby ramana » 29 Mar 2019 08:58

GD, I dont care Raj or Runk.
I care what your mind thinks.
What bubbled up?

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby rajpa » 29 Mar 2019 09:08

Next to come will be Kilo Ampere Linear Injector. Modi will ensure.

Jai Maha KALI.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby syam » 29 Mar 2019 10:04

Surgical strike happened on sep 28-29.
Risat incident happened on sep 30.

IMO we are giving too much long rope to ccp. They are aggressive bunch. Given chance, they go on rampage. I wouldn't put it past them to do something like this. Destroying assets is not same as killing people. It's morally acceptable in some weird way. These chinis are challenging us for a long time. They are rubbing their technological superiority in our face. /rant

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Re: Indian ASAT test

Postby syam » 29 Mar 2019 10:10

Amber G. wrote:Besides Nehruji died in 1964 ... ISRO came into existence in 15th August 1969..(They deleted/retweeted/ corrected the tweet later to put IG's name..)

Some weird logic going on here. They say it's scientists who deserve the credit, not the PM. In the same breath, they give credit to Nehru who also happened to be a PM. :-?

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Dileep » 29 Mar 2019 10:13

KALI is soo 20th century. We are looking at much better stuff now.

Powers are being scaled up relentlessly, and the associated challenges are being worked out. If you monitor the eprocure site, you will get some idea where we are.

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Re: Indian ASAT test

Postby Haridas » 29 Mar 2019 10:31

Austin wrote:Always good to demonstrate known capability for the doubters

This should shake up P-4 , China and Pak

Next Goal should be 1500 km Orbit.

Why ? The same reasoning/logic for 600 km, 900, 1200, 1750, 2000, 3000, 4k km... etc is meaningless.
Medium & higher altitude ASAT is easier then the low alt sat.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby SaiK » 29 Mar 2019 10:31

exactly!

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Singha » 29 Mar 2019 10:38

ramana wrote:GD, I dont care Raj or Runk.
I care what your mind thinks.
What bubbled up?


isnt it a huge coincidence that sac/norad logs a debris causing event next to risat1 and a month later its confirmed that its dead.
and this exactly the kind of thing cheen has been probing the US with since atleast 2006 albeit they have not dared to damage any US sat yet.
massa is worried and is trying to think of solutions but none really fit the bill https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/ ... space-news

the only deterrence remains tit for tat taking down of equivalent satellites.

with pak increasingly unable to match the growing indian resources, more and more its upto its colonial master china to keep india 'off balance' on behalf of pak. this trend will increase. next time we slap pak, need to be prepared for another doklam on eastern front.

thats the whole logic why armed forces speak of 2 fronts.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby Muns » 29 Mar 2019 10:43

Guys, I took to writing a chaiwalla article last night, really for the basics and to of course attacked the opposition of the end with the elections just around the corner. I tried to incorporate her full scenario of what kind of space strategic assets that India really has under its control that are now protected in the reverse retaliatory strike should Indian satellites come under attack. This would of course mean the vast array of observational satellites that we have under our control, Cartosat series and recently GSAT 7 and our GAGAN GPS network. In any case any strike onto any of these satellites would create reverse retaliatory strike in the same fashion.
I also tried to illustrative course the BMD and of course attack the opposition at the end.
Again really for the aam admi............

Why Pakistan should fear the ASAT test?

https://www.india-aware.com/featured/wh ... asat-test/

While only the US, Russia and China had this capability, India has joined the league, adding this crucial element to its strategic arsenal.

Think of a scenario where during a strategic confrontation with one of its neighbours, India observes its target first using its imaging satellites via the Cartosat series obtaining intelligence. Have this, coordinates are then passed to fighter aircraft who strike their precise targets using the Indian made GAGAN GPS network.

Denied using the American GPS system during Kargil, India realized the value of depending on its own satellites and capability during a time of war.


Not only this, but India has been working on a missile defense shield over the last decade. This really shows the culmination of DRDO efforts in building an exoatmospheric system to not just target satellites but to also target IRBM and ICBM missiles up to a height of approximately a thousand kilometers.

One can see from the pictures that this is indeed the mobile launch system based off a modified TATRA truck. This would mean that not just the launch systems developed are to not only shoot satellites out of space but well within the range of also shooting Pakistan’s Ghauri or Shaheen missiles out of space as well. This is really a culmination of the ballistic missile defense system, exoatmospheric test of the PDV (Prithvi Defence Vehicle).

While the initial missile tests were more endo-atmospheric, what can be seen from this Exo-atmospheric test as well is that not only is it mobile with mobile radars to detect such a missile launch, but it also means that such a missile is also solid fueled.


I took a little bit of a liberty above. From what I could see in the pictures it looked like the launch was effectively from a TATRA truck, effectively making it mobile. Can anybody confirm this?

The Congress government over the last decade has blood of thousands of Indians on its hands for not taking the decisive action that they should have in the wake of such terrorist attacks. Congress president Rahul Gandhi instead of coming out to celebrate such a capability ended up wishing the Prime Minister ‘happy theater day’.

He should have plainly acknowledged the decisive nature of this government when his own government failed to do so. What did the Congress government do during the Mumbai terror attack?

Numerous other politicians can only find fault to credit their own personal gains with elections around the corner. Today, it’s really another feather in the cap for DRDO which has long been maligned for numerous delays in many of its flagship projects.


Appreciate any feedback regarding the above. In time of elections I feel least some of us could do especially with regard to the "freebie" opposition.

http://www.india-aware.com

http://www.youtube.com/c/indiaaware

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Re: Indian ASAT test

Postby Haridas » 29 Mar 2019 10:47

Dileep wrote:It is unlikely be a 'tail chase' mode. Reaching 7km/sec in 3 minutes is doubtful.

I miss Arun S and his rocket calculator.

I was busy last few days, to participate.
Just send me an email boss I will send you ROCKSIM software.

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Re: Indian ASAT test

Postby Haridas » 29 Mar 2019 10:52

Snehashis wrote:First stage from Agni-IV ?

I agree, upper stage is the HTK of PDV.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby JayS » 29 Mar 2019 12:29

ASAT missiles are only for deterrence and have practically very limited value as far as actual use is concerned. Same a N weapon, any use may snowball in to MAD quickly. We need an anti-Sat weapon which we can actually use. ASAT hit-to-kill missile is not that weapon. We should not stop here, but continue to develop other debris-less weapons. Given Gaganyaan mission, we can actually develop the KV into a rendezvous vehicle, an RV if I may, and practice docking and de-orbiting (and some more technology), under the guise of Gaganyaan project. (Now many would understand strategic importance of developing various space technology taking Human space flight mission as a publicized objective. Of coarse there are other benefits too). The RV could simply go and attach itself to the Sat to be taken down, and then either simply deorbit it or physically damage it just enough in the orbit itself to get it out of service, but without creating any debris. Another option is Direct Energy weapons. (I am just talking of physically taking out the SAT permanently, not jamming it temporarily, for which there are many other options). All these technologies are already under development by US et al. For all we know even ISRO/DRDO are also working on it as we speak. At least I hope so. But we really going to need these kind of weapons sooner than we think.

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Re: Indian ASAT test

Postby JayS » 29 Mar 2019 12:51

Haridas wrote:
Dileep wrote:It is unlikely be a 'tail chase' mode. Reaching 7km/sec in 3 minutes is doubtful.

I miss Arun S and his rocket calculator.

I was busy last few days, to participate.
Just send me an email boss I will send you ROCKSIM software.


It was mentioned somewhere that the final speed of KV was 3km/s. To achieve orbital speed, putting KV in tail chase mode in orbit, one would need larger missile than the largest ICBM ever built.

What would be the weight of the KV BTW..? Any guess..? Should be less than a Ton, me thinks. Around 700kg perhaps.

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Re: Indian ASAT Test

Postby chetak » 29 Mar 2019 13:06

It was extremely foolish and thoughtless to publicly associate ISRO and DRDO with the ASAT test.

Crediting DRDO alone would have been more than enough, irrespective of which organisation did what and how much it contributed.

People who ought to know would undoubtedly have known the true facts.

ISRO, as a matter of corporate policy has always fought shy of being openly associated with the Indian military because the sanctions, if any are applied to it in the future, will simply bite that much harder due to its now publicly declared and exposed dual use nature of its systems and capabilities and make their already difficult lives that much harder. It would have been for the best if these capabilities had remained covert and very firmly in the realm of plausible deniability.

ISRO has, so far, by and large, not been associated with the military. Launching the odd MIL satellite for the Indian forces is not a problem because launching satellites is what they do for a living and they do have a true blue commercial arm for just that very purpose.

Embroiling ISRO in a situation where it is now publicly and actively associated with the weaponization of its capabilities is rather unfortunate.

One would have preferred the plausible deniability of the fig leaf cover of ISRO being a purely commercial launch entity of the common or garden variety.

DRDO is already weaponized and deservedly so but the same should not have been done so overtly for ISRO.

There is already chatter of boycotting ISRO for commercial launches and the enraged whiteys were already in a desperate search to somehow spike the growing success of ISRO's commercial launch capabilities.

Did we really need to provide ammunition to such jealous clowns??


Boycott Indian launchers? Industry reacts to India’s anti-satellite weapon test

by Debra Werner — March 27, 2019


SAN FRANCISCO – In the wake of the March 27 Indian anti-satellite test, Brian Weeden of the Secure World Foundation suggested companies consider boycotting India’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV).

Secondary payloads launching on PSLV generate significant income for Indian space programs. If India creates debris in low Earth orbit through anti-satellite testing that could harm the business models of PSLV’s launch customers, Weeden tweeted. Many space industry startups also emphasize social responsibility in public statements and interviews.

“I wonder if any commercial space companies are willing to take a stand on this and boycott the PSLV to send a message to India? Corporate social responsibility anyone?” Weeden, Secure World Foundation technical advisor, tweeted March 27.

Small satellite companies declined to comment on the likelihood of a boycott of the India Space Research Organization’s PSLV.

However, Planet condemned the anti-satellite test. “While Planet enjoys a great working partnership with agencies of India’s government — like ISRO — we categorically condemn the anti-satellite missile intercept recently conducted by India’s defense department,” the San Francisco-based company tweeted March 27. “Space should be used for peaceful purposes, and destroying satellites on orbit severely threatens the long-term stability of the space environment for all space operators. Planet urges all space-capable nations to respect our orbital commons.”

Planet sent 88 cubesats into orbit on a PSLV in February 2017 and launched 16 more on a November 2018 PSLV flight.

Weeden said by email he was not calling for a boycott, but saying “the commercial sector should be concerned about where the space arms race is heading and how it may impact their business, and they should have a voice in the debate. A boycott is one possible way they could do that, but there may be others.”

While a single anti-satellite test is unlikely to cause significant debris, the Indian test is the latest sign “of the recent proliferation of anti-satellite and counterspace technologies,” Weeden said. “Coupled with increased reliance on space for military purposes by many countries, it means there’s a greater chance a future conflict may include attacks on satellites. And that could have devastating consequences for all, including commercialization and investment in space.”

Nations have been largely unsuccessful in reining in anti-satellite testing. Commercial companies with their expanding role both in the space industry and in global economies “could use their dollars and customers to also influence how countries behave in space. Countries aren’t the only ones who can set and enforce norms of behavior.”

Terrestrial companies are taking stands on ethical and moral issues. Their positions influence where they operate and what countries they work with, Weeden said. “I wonder if we might start to see that happen in the space world as well,” he added.

Instead of focusing on India alone, companies “should probably consider the behavior of all countries pushing the space arms race,” Weeden said. “India is only the latest, but by no means the only one.”

Laura Grego of the Union of Concerned Scientists also expressed concern about the spread of anti-satellite weapons and their increasing sophistication. “That increases the risks of a crisis getting sparked or escalated because someone uses or threatens to destroy someone else’s critical national security satellite,” Grego, a senior scientist in the Union of Concerned Scientists Global Security Program, said by email.

Destroying a satellite with a ground-based missile as India, the United States and China have all done, “creates enormous amounts of space debris when used,” Grego said. India destroyed a satellite at an altitude of 300 kilometers, meaning the cloud of debris created will not be in orbit long. Using a similar weapon to target “a satellite in a more common orbit would create debris that lasts decades,” she said.

Multinational organizations including the Conference on Disarmament and the United Nations Group of Governmental Experts have failed to reach agreement on arms control treaties or voluntary codes of conduct for space activities, Union of Concerned Scientists said in a March 27 news release.

“The international effort to ensure space remains a peaceful and secure environment is not keeping up with the spread of these technologies, and India’s test makes it harder to see progress on that. In fact, it’s possible that India’s test encourages others to test, too,” Grego said.


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