NASA and ISRO to collaborate on building satellite

First joint space project being undertaken by India, US.

By Deepak Chitnis

WASHINGTON, DC: America’s National Aeronautics and Space Agency and the Indian Space Research Organization are set to begin their first ever collaborative project. The partnership was created in order to build a satellite.

“The joint satellite mission is an important step. It’s not making an instrument and plugging it actually. It’s working together. That’s what we are discussing. [The collaboration] should happen in the next few months,” said K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization. “We will be working together. Some will be built by us, some will be built by them. So this has to be finalized.”

Although the countries have worked together on space-related projects in the past – India’s Chandrayan-1 satellite, launched in 2008, had American-built sensors and equipment on it – this is the very actively joint venture the countries have ever undertaken together.

The announcement comes on the heels of US vice-president Joe Biden’s visit to India, during which he urged more cooperation and partnership between American and Indian governments and businesses to strengthen political and economic ties. This NASA/ISRO project seems to be doing just that.

The purpose of the satellite has yet to be completely firmed up. But what is clear is that the satellite is indeed the first step in a larger plan of more collaboration between the American and Indian space agencies.

Radhakrishnan made insinuations that India will be assisting the US in its forthcoming asteroid project.

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