America to Send Indian Astronaut to International Space Station by Year-End: US Envoy
America to Send Indian Astronaut to International Space Station by Year-End: US Envoy

The United States plans to send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station by the end of 2024, announced Eric Garcetti, the US Ambassador to India. He also mentioned that the NISAR project, a collaborative Earth-observing mission between NASA and ISRO, is expected to launch by the end of the year.

"We are going to put an Indian astronaut into the International Space Station this year," Garcetti stated. He recalled a promise made during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the US in 2023, affirming that the mission is on track.

Garcetti made these comments at an event celebrating the 248th Independence Day of the United States. He emphasized the potential for India and the US to collaborate in research and emerging technologies, leveraging each other's strengths. Garcetti praised India's cost-effective lunar mission, Chandrayaan 3, noting that it landed on the Moon at a fraction of the cost of similar US missions.

He highlighted the complementary capabilities of the two countries, suggesting that combined efforts could yield significant advancements.

Regarding civilian nuclear energy cooperation, Garcetti expressed optimism that after the elections, the Indian government could address outstanding liability issues, enabling progress in this area. Two sites in India, Mithi Virdi in Gujarat and Kovvada in Andhra Pradesh, have been designated for US companies to build nuclear reactors. However, these companies have raised concerns over the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act of 2010, which mandates prompt compensation for victims of nuclear incidents through a no-fault liability regime.

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