What is Low-Earth Orbit satellite? Know more about the 'surgical strike' in space

What is Low-Earth Orbit satellite? Know more about the
Highlights

  • India shot down a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite
  • The anti-satellite missile (A-Sat) used to shoot down the LEO satellite was made in India
  • India is the fourth country after the US, Russia and China to have this technology

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Wednesday that India shot down a Low-Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite and congratulated Indian scientists for the feat. He said the anti-satellite missile (A-Sat) used to shoot down the LEO satellite was made in India.

In his address to the nation PM Modi said, "Today, a LEO (Low-Earth Orbit) was downed by our space scientists. LEO had a set target, was shot down by an anti-satellite missile in just three minutes,"

This is a moment of pride for all Indians, he added.

What is a Low-Earth Orbit satellite and how is it different from a normal satellite?

The Low-Earth Orbit satellite rotates around the Earth only a few hundred kilometres (the low Earth orbit, hence the name) on top of the surface compared to a geostationary orbit or other higher orbits used by satellites of communication or defence satellites to monitor our plant. These satellites are mainly used for data communication and move at extremely high speeds.

Today more and more LEO satellites are being manufactured and space has been crowded. These satellites are cost-effective and require the least amount of energy to place them in space since they use less powerful amplifiers for successful transmission. The latency is also much lower and the satellites are easily accessible to the crews.

One of the biggest disadvantages of using a LEO satellite, as the experts point out, is that its field of vision is very limited, so a group of such satellites is needed to provide continuous coverage.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that today's 'Mission Shakti' has pushed India into the league of elite countries that have this ability to use an A-Sat missile to protect themselves from threats from LEO satellites. India, PM Modi said, is now the fourth country after the United States, Russia and China have this technology.

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