NASA to Provide Advanced Training to Indian Astronauts for Joint ISS Mission
NASA to Provide Advanced Training to Indian Astronauts for Joint ISS Mission

Washington: The United States of America (USA) announced on May 24, 2024, that its National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will provide advanced training to Indian astronauts for a joint mission to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year.

Speaking at the US-India commercial space conference, Eric Garcetti, the US envoy to India, revealed NASA's plans, stating, "NASA will soon provide advanced training to Indian astronauts with the goal of launching a joint mission to the ISS, hopefully this year or shortly thereafter, as promised by our leaders during their visit together."

Garcetti also highlighted the upcoming launch of the NISAR satellite from the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC). NISAR, a joint earth observing mission between NASA and ISRO, aims to monitor ecosystems, natural hazards, sea-level rise, and the cryosphere.

Addressing the conference attendees, including senior officials from both the US and Indian governments, as well as representatives from NASA, NOAA, and the commercial space industry, Garcetti emphasized the potential for collaboration in space exploration. He noted the significance of initiatives like the Artemis Accord and highlighted the economic opportunities, particularly for startups, in the space sector.

ISRO Chairman S Somanath praised the visionary leadership of both India and the US for engaging in collaborative efforts such as the Artemis Accord and emphasized the strengthening ties between Indian and US partners in critical technologies.

Atul Keshap, President of the US-India Business Council (USIBC), described the US-India space collaboration as a new chapter in the partnership, emphasizing the potential for achieving extraordinary milestones through strategic alliances and collaborative efforts.

The conference underscored the importance of fostering strategic partnerships to drive innovation and propel the space industry forward. USIBC Managing Director Alexander Slater highlighted the commitment to fostering bilateral cooperation among leading companies and startups from both countries to unlock new opportunities for economic growth and technological leadership.

In parallel, senior defense officials from India and the US met in Washington for the second annual US-India Advanced Domains Defence Dialogue (AD3) to explore opportunities for strengthening space cooperation. Discussions focused on enhancing cooperation in the space domain and advancing AD3 through regular working group meetings.

The dialogue also involved engagement with the US Space Command, the Joint Commercial Operations Cell, and AI experts from the US Department of Defense, signaling a commitment to deeper collaboration in space exploration and defense.

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