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      ISRO and NASA Working Together to Make India’s Space Station, NISAR Launching in 2024

      Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Bill Nelson said the US was open to helping India build its own space station. He is on a visit to India said the US and India were working on plans to send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station by 2024.

      While Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will launch the state-of-the-art joint venture satellite with NASA, NISAR in the first quarter of 2024.

      Bill Nelson met Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh here and discuss strengthening cooperation between the two countries in the space sector.

      Official statement from the Science and Technology Ministry said :

      “ISRO is also exploring the feasibility of utilising NASA’s Hypervelocity Impact Test (HVIT) facility for testing Gaganyaan module Micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) protection shields,”.

      During the meeting, the two leaders also discuss US President Joe Biden’s offer to send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station in 2024.

      Bill Nelson said :

      “The selection of astronaut is determined by ISRO. NASA will not make the selection,”.

      He urge Jitendra Singh to expedite the programme related to India’s first astronaut aboard a NASA rocket to the International Space Station.

      NASA is identifying an opportunity in the private astronaut mission for Indian astronauts in 2024.

      In response to a question, Bill Nelson said the US would be ready to collaborate with India in building the space station if it so desires.

      Bill Nelson said :

      “We expect by that time to have a commercial space station. I think India wants to have a commercial space station by 2040. If India wants us to collaborate with them, of course, we will be available. But that’s up to India,”.

      Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ask ISRO to aim to build an Indian space station by 2035 and land astronauts on the moon by 2040.

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      Built at a cost of $1.5 billion (approx. Rs. 12,500 crore), NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) is target for launch onboard India’s GSLV rocket.

      Data from NISAR will be highly suitable for studying the land ecosystems, deformation of solid earth, mountain and polar cryosphere, sea ice, and coastal oceans on a regional to global scale.

      ISRO has develop the S-band SAR which was integrate with NASA’s L-band SAR at JPL/NASA.

      The integrate L & S band SAR is currently undergoing testing with the satellite at the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), Bengaluru with the participation of NASA/JPL officials.

      An official statement said ISRO and NASA have form a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Human spaceflight cooperation and are exploring cooperation in radiation impact studies, micrometeorite and orbital debris shield studies, space health and medicine aspects.

      ISRO is also in discussion with prominent US industries like Boeing, Blue Origin, and Voyager on specific items of cooperation and also to explore joint collaborations with Indian commercial entities.

      A concept paper on the Implementing Arrangement is under consideration between ISRO and NASA.

      After a few iterations, both sides arrive at a same agreed draft and the same is process for intra-governmental approvals, as per official statement. 

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