Business + Technology

NASA to train Indian astronauts for joint mission to ISS: US envoy to India

Thursday, 30 May, 2024
Eric Garcetti visited the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquarters in Bengaluru. (Photo courtesy: X@USAmbIndia)

Bengaluru: The US space agency NASA will soon provide advanced training to Indian astronauts to send a joint mission to the International Space Station this year or shortly thereafter, US envoy to India Eric Garcetti has said.

“NASA will soon provide advanced training to Indian astronauts, with the goal of mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station, hopefully, this year or shortly thereafter, which was one of the promises of our leaders' visit together," Garcetti said at an event here.

Garcetti visited the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquarters in Bengaluru, as both countries continue to enhance cooperation in the field of space.

During his meeting with ISRO Chairman S. Somanath, the US Ambassador expressed his admiration for the organisation's accomplishments and its role in global space exploration.

"The discussions highlighted both countries' mutual interests and shared goals in advancing space science, technology, and the space economy. Ongoing associations through various Joint Working Groups, Artemis Accord, NISAR, and the use of the Laser Reflectometer Array on Chandrayaan-3 were also discussed," ISRO said in a statement.

Under iCET, the two countries have unveiled a roadmap for increased collaboration in high-technology fields. The initiative focuses on addressing regulatory barriers, aligning export controls, and encouraging deeper cooperation in crucial and emerging fields.

Future programmes, including the exchange visits of both sides' professionals, continuation of balloon experiments, and identifying milestone events, were also discussed as ISRO emphasised the need to address access to critical components and items to expedite collaborative missions.

The organisation detailed that other significant discussions between both sides focused on NASA's participation in India's proposal for a G-20 satellite for environment and climate change, an advanced imaging spectrometer satellite as a follow-up mission for NISAR, and encouragement of cooperation between commercial companies from both countries for quicker and more effective outcomes, Gaganyaan cargo module as an option for transfer of cargo to International Space Station.

"The US Ambassador has also proposed a QUAD satellite. Chairman, ISRO pointed out the opportunity to develop advanced detectors and packaging technologies with US-India academic institutions. He emphasised building and standardising docking interfaces across human space programmes to enable the utilisation of space platforms by other countries and joining hands to build a navigation system on the moon, either in orbit or on the surface," said ISRO.

Garcetti's visit concluded with a commitment to further strengthen the partnership between India and the United States in the field of space.