In News: France has launched its first ever military exercise in space in order to “stress test” its defence systems against potential adversaries.
- The French Space Command (CDE), created in 2019, launched its first military space exercise, called ASTERX.
- The name is a reference to the first French satellite to have been put into orbit in November 1965, and a nod to the famous Gaul warrior Astérix depicted in comics.
- First for the French armies and even the first in Europe.
- The newly-created US Space Force and the German Space Situational Awareness Centre are also participating in this exercise.
- The aim of the exercise is to evaluate French military’s ability to defend its satellites and other defense equipment from an attack.
- French military will monitor a potentially dangerous space object as well as a threat to its own satellite from another foreign power possessing a considerable space force,under the exercise.
- AsterX is part of the French government’s strategy to make the country the world’s third-largest space power.
- Space Command formed in 2019 in response to the growing trend of global powers deploying military equipment into Earth’s orbit.
India’s Similar Initiative
IndSpaceEx: India’s first space warfare exercise.
- Tri-Service integrated defence staff under the defence ministry is conducting the two-day “IndSpaceEx”, with all military and scientific stakeholders.
- To assess the requisite space and counter-space capabilities that are needed by India to ensure we can protect our national security interests in this final frontier of warfare.
Mission Shakti: An Anti-Satellite (ASAT) Missile Test.
- Mission Shakti shooting down a live satellite target in low earth orbit (LEO).
- Mission Shakti is a joint programme of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
- Mission Shakti was carried out from DRDO’s testing range in Odisha’s Balasore.