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India expands global space cooperation

The establishment of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) as a single-window agency exemplifies India’s commitment to streamlining processes and encouraging private investment in the space sector...reports Asian Lite News

India has taken a leap forward in international space collaboration with the signing of space cooperative agreements with 61 countries and five multilateral organizations.

This information was revealed in a detailed response to a query in the Rajya Sabha by Union Minister of State Jitendra Singh on Thursday (February 8, 2024), echoing India’s proactive engagement in global space diplomacy and research. Singh, who holds the portfolio of Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Science & Technology; Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy, and Space, highlighted the broad spectrum of cooperation encompassing satellite remote sensing, satellite navigation, satellite communication, space science, planetary exploration, and capacity building initiatives.

A flight to India’s burgeoning space diplomacy is its collaboration with leading space agencies across the globe. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is notably advancing in joint missions with international counterparts, including the NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) project with the United States’ NASA. This mission, currently in an advanced stage of realization, is poised to enhance earth observation capabilities through cutting-edge radar imaging. Further extending its international partnership, ISRO is working closely with France’s National Space Agency (CNES) on the TRISHNA (Thermal Infrared Imaging Satellite for High Resolution Natural Resource Assessment) mission, which is in its initial phases. This collaboration aims at pioneering high-resolution thermal infrared observations for natural resource assessment.

Additionally, ISRO and Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have completed a feasibility study for a joint lunar polar exploration mission, marking a significant step towards collaborative exploration of the moon’s polar regions. In line with building innovation and private sector engagement in space activities, the Indian Space Policy – 2023 has been introduced. This policy framework aims to liberate the private sector, allowing it to engage in a wide range of space-related activities, from satellite development to launch services.

The establishment of the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Centre (IN-SPACe) as a single-window agency exemplifies India’s commitment to streamlining processes and encouraging private investment in the space sector. ISRO’s strategic international collaborations are designed to augment the capacity of India’s space program, enhance the global space science and earth observation database, expand ground station networks, and facilitate the exchange of expertise and technology. These partnerships elevate India’s status as a space-faring nation and contribute to the collective advancement of global space exploration and technology development. With these ambitious collaborations and policy initiatives, India is set to play a global role in shaping the future of international space exploration and utilization.

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NASA laser message beams video of a cat from deep space

The short ultra-high definition video, which was uploaded before launch on NASA’s Psyche mission on October 13, features an orange tabby cat named Taters, the pet of a JPL employee, chasing a laser pointer, with overlayed graphics…reports Asian Lite News

NASA’s Deep Space Optical Communications experiment beamed an ultra-high definition streaming video of a cat from a record-setting 31 million kilometres, or about 80 times the Earth-Moon distance.

The milestone, part of NASA technology demonstration aimed at streaming very high-bandwidth video and other data from deep space — enabling future human missions beyond Earth orbit — was achieved on December 11.

The short ultra-high definition video, which was uploaded before launch on NASA’s Psyche mission on October 13, features an orange tabby cat named Taters, the pet of a JPL employee, chasing a laser pointer, with overlayed graphics.

The graphics illustrate several features from the tech demo, such as Psyche’s orbital path, Palomar’s telescope dome, and technical information about the laser and its data bit rate.

Tater’s heart rate, colour, and breed are also on display.

“This accomplishment underscores our commitment to advancing optical communications as a key element to meeting our future data transmission needs,” said NASA Deputy Administrator Pam Melroy.

“Increasing our bandwidth is essential to achieving our future exploration and science goals, and we look forward to the continued advancement of this technology and the transformation of how we communicate during future interplanetary missions,” Melroy added.

The demo transmitted the 15-second test video via a cutting-edge instrument called a flight laser transceiver.

The video signal took 101 seconds to reach Earth, sent at the system’s maximum bit rate of 267 megabits per second (Mbps).

Capable of sending and receiving near-infrared signals, the instrument beamed an encoded near-infrared laser to the Hale Telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California, where it was downloaded.

Each frame from the looping video was then sent “live” to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, where the video was played in real time.

This latest milestone comes after “first light” was achieved on November 14. Since then, the system has demonstrated faster data downlink speeds and increased pointing accuracy during its weekly checkouts.

On the night of December 4, the project demonstrated downlink bit rates of 62.5 Mbps, 100 Mbps, and 267 Mbps, which is comparable to broadband internet download speeds. The team was able to download a total of 1.3 terabits of data during that time.

“Despite transmitting from millions of miles away, it was able to send the video faster than most broadband internet connections,” said Ryan Rogalin, the project’s receiver electronics lead at JPL.

As Psyche travels to the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the technology demonstration will send high-data-rate signals as far out as the Red Planet’s greatest distance from Earth. In doing so, it paves the way for higher-data-rate communications capable of sending complex scientific information, high-definition imagery, and video in support of humanity’s next giant leap: sending humans to Mars.

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Lifestyle Lite Blogs

The Art of Space Enhancement

Enter the wonderful world of pendant lights, where artistic illumination becomes the focal point of imaginative designs. The enigmatic touch of these lighting solutions transforms ethereal lighting styles into bedside wonders…writes Janavi Javeri

As urban dwellings shrink in size, every inch of space has become ever more valuable. And what space deserves more attention than the sanctuary of our bedrooms? The quest for a harmonious blend of functionality and aesthetics often leads us to explore innovative alternatives to traditional table lamps. Enter the realm of wall and pendant lights, where intelligent design and artistic expression converge to create a truly refined and captivating ambiance. In the pursuit of enhancing bedside aesthetics, here are the hidden advantages of wall and pendant lights over traditional table lamps.

Practicality Meets Aesthetics:

By donning the walls with sleek and tasteful lighting fixtures, bedside tables are unburdened from the confinement of table lamps. This liberates additional surface area, allowing for essential bedside items like books, alarm clocks, or personal mementos to be effortlessly showcased. Wall lights with adjustable arms ensure the perfect blend of functionality and charm, providing adjustable task lighting without needing a dedicated table.

Space Sculpting with Pendant Lights:

Enter the wonderful world of pendant lights, where artistic illumination becomes the focal point of imaginative designs. The enigmatic touch of these lighting solutions transforms ethereal lighting styles into bedside wonders. Incorporating pendant lights above nightstands or hanging them gracefully from the ceiling brings a sense of whimsy and sophistication to every quiet corner. The pendant light’s soft, diffused glow blankets the room, setting a tranquil atmosphere while eliminating the need for space-consuming table lamps.

Aesthetic Flourishes:

Wall and pendant lights accentuate the overall aesthetic of a bedroom. It is an opportunity to embrace and declutter bedside surfaces, creating a clean and minimalist look. The strategic placement of these fixtures ensures that the room appears more extensive and open, suggesting an air of tranquil luxury. The versatility of these lighting solutions offers an enticing array of designs that seamlessly blend into various interior themes, ensuring that personal taste and style are never compromised.

Versatility Redefined:

Wall and pendant lights transcend the boundaries of traditional lighting fixtures, with their flexibility extending far beyond the confines of the bedside table. These luminaires can be strategically positioned to create a sense of balance and harmony in the room, elevating its overall atmosphere. Furthermore, their versatility makes them ideal for smaller spaces, where every square inch must be utilized intelligently. Wall and pendant lights transform even the most tiny bedrooms into inviting sanctuaries by spreading a warm and inviting glow throughout the room.

As we step back from the world of optimized bedside spaces illuminated by the mesmerizing allure of wall and pendant lights, one truth becomes abundantly clear: they represent the pinnacle of intelligent design and refined aesthetics. Through their ability to save space, offer intimate illumination, elevate aesthetics, and redefine versatility, these ingenious lighting alternatives have carved a niche in interior design.

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‘US wanted India to share space tech’

ISRO Chairman S Somanath says India’s intelligence level is one of the best in the world…reports Asian Lite News

ISRO Chairman S Somanath on Sunday said experts involved in developing complex rocket missions in the US, after witnessing the developmental activities of Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft, suggested that India share space technology with them.

Times have changed and India is capable of building the best of devices and rockets and that is why India has opened the space sector to private players, he said at an event here.

Somanath was addressing students at an event organised by Dr A P J Abdul Kalam’s Foundation, commemorating the 92nd birth anniversary of the late former President.

“Our country is a very powerful nation. You understand that? Our knowledge and intelligence level in the country is one of the best in the world,” the ISRO chief said, explaining, ”In Chandrayaan-3, when we designed and developed the spacecraft, we invited experts from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA-JPL, who does all the rockets and most difficult mission.”

He continued: “About 5-6 people from NASA-JPL came (to ISRO headquarters) and we explained to them about Chandrayaan-3. That was before the soft landing took place (on August 23). We explained how we designed it and how our engineers made it…and how we are going to land on the Moon’s surface, and they just said, ‘no comments. everything is going to be good’.”

JPL is a research and development laboratory funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and managed by California Institute of Technology (CALTECH) in the United States of America.

“They (US space experts) also said one thing, ‘look at the scientific instruments, they are very cheap. Very easy to build and they are high technology. How did you build it? Why don’t you sell this to America,’ they were asking,” he said.

”So you (students) can understand how times have changed. We are capable of building the best equipment, best devices, and the best rockets in India,” he added India successfully touched down near the south pole of lunar surface with the Chandrayaan-3’s lander on August 23, making it only the fourth country to achieve the feat of a Moon landing after the US, China and the erstwhile Soviet Union.

Somanath further told the students, ”Now we are telling you people (to) come and build rockets, satellites and make our nation more powerful in space technology. It is not only ISRO, everybody can do it in space. There is one company in Chennai building rockets called Agnikul and another in Hyderabad called Skyroot. At least in India, there are five companies today building rockets and satellites.”

Appealing to the young audience at the venue to follow the ideology of Kalam, Somanath said the most powerful tool is to dream and “Kalam sir told you that you should dream when you are awake and not in the night.”

“Anybody have such dreams? Anybody want to go to the Moon? When we landed Chandrayaan-3 spacecraft on the Moon, I declared to Prime Minister (Narendra Modi) that India is on the Moon. And he asked when are you going to send an Indian to the Moon. So, some of you sitting here will do that job. Some of you will design the rocket which will go to the Moon,” he said.

“And at the launch of Chandrayaan-10, one of you will go sitting inside the rocket and most probably a girl child. A girl astronaut will go from India and then land on the Moon (in Chandrayaan-10 mission)” he said, amid applause from the students.

ISRO to test human space mission’s crew module escape system

Indian space agency will fly the first of the four Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1) to demonstrate the crew escape system on October 21 as part of its human space mission/Gaganyaan, said a top official.

Speaking to reporters Somanath said the first unmanned test mission TV-D1 will happen on Oct 21. Somanath said there will be three more test flights TV-D2, TV-D3 and TV-D4 to test the systems.

“Preparations for the Flight Test Vehicle Abort Mission-1 (TV-D1), which demonstrates the performance of the Crew Escape System, are underway,” ISRO had said recently. The first development flight Test Vehicle (TV-D1) is in the final stages of preparation. The Test Vehicle is a single-stage liquid rocket developed for this abort mission.

“The payloads consist of the Crew Module (CM) and Crew Escape Systems (CES) with their fast-acting solid motors, along with CM fairing (CMF) and Interface Adapters,” ISRO said. This flight will simulate the abort condition during the ascent trajectory corresponding to a Mach number of 1.2 encountered in the Gaganyaan mission.

ISRO said the Crew Escape System with Crew Module will be separated from the Test Vehicle at an altitude of about 17 km. “Subsequently, the abort sequence will be executed autonomously commencing with the separation of CES (Crew Escape System) and deployment of the series of parachutes, finally culminating in the safe touchdown of CM (Crew Module) in the sea, about 10 km from the coast of Sriharikota,” ISRO said.

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India, Russia Boost Space Ties Post Chandrayaan-3 Success

Civil nuclear cooperation through the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu and space exploration via the Gaganyaan programme remain important components of India-Russia Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership,a report by Ateet Sharma

Russia has reaffirmed its readiness to further develop bilateral cooperation with India in the space sector after the successful landing of Chandrayaan-3 near the moon’s south pole, last week.

Russian President Vladimir Putin dialled Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening to once again “warmly congratulate” him on Chandrayaan-3’s successful soft landing on Lunar surface.

Besides the upcoming G20 summit in New Delhi and Russia’s BRICS chairmanship starting January 2024, the two leaders also discussed the consistent implementation of large-scale projects in the energy sector, joint work to expand the international transport and logistics infrastructure and progress of the space research programmes.

“Vladimir Putin once again warmly congratulated Narendra Modi on the successful landing of the Indian space station Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon near its south pole. Readiness was reaffirmed to further develop bilateral cooperation in the space sector,” the Kremlin said in a statement after the telephone conversation between the Russian President and PM Modi.

Civil nuclear cooperation through the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant in Tamil Nadu and space exploration via the Gaganyaan programme remain important components of India-Russia Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership.

As Moscow plays a significant role in India’s maiden human space flight mission Gaganyaan which is targeted to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2024, the last few years have witnessed an increased cooperation between the Russian State Space Corporation Roscosmos and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). This includes the human spaceflight programmes and satellite navigation.

ISRO and Roscosmos have signed an agreement on ‘Cooperation in Space’ which targets building partnerships to exploit the full potential of India and Russia in development of launch vehicles, construction and utilisation of spacecraft for different applications, ground-based space infrastructure, as well as research and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, including planetary exploration.

Russia has contributed extensively to India’s rise as a space power since the USSR became one of the three countries that helped India in setting up the Thumba Equatorial Rocket Launching Station (TERLS) in 1962.

The launching of the first Indian satellite, Aryabhata, in 1975 and first Indian cosmonaut Rakesh Sharma’s eight-day flight as a member of a joint Soviet-Indian Soyuz-T11 spacecraft crew in 1984 took the partnership to new heights.

In February 2020, the long India-Russia association in space grew further as four Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter pilots began their training at Moscow’s Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) for a spaceflight under the contract between Glavkosmos, JSC (part of the State Space Corporation Roscosmos) and ISRO’s Human Spaceflight Centre.

Last December, Atomic Energy and Space minister Jitendra Singh told Parliament that the astronaut designates for human space flight mission Gaganyaan have been identified and are currently undergoing their mission specific training in Bengaluru.

Singh had also informed Rajya Sabha that India is considering proposals for collaborations and cooperation in space research with more countries “through joint experiments and creating platforms for inflow of expertise”.

The specific areas in which collaboration and cooperation could be possible in future include building of satellites, development of science instruments for earth observation, space science and planetary exploration; new propulsion technologies; sharing of satellite data; human spaceflight support, space situational awareness and training and capacity building in space technology applications.

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AlNeyadi Participates In Cardiovascular Study In Space

The study aims to observe changes in how astronauts’ cardiovascular and respiratory systems control blood pressure to ensure that the crew stays healthy on their way back into space….reports Asian Lite News

The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) shared a glimpse into astronaut Sultan AlNeyadi’s contribution to the Cardiobreath experiment on the International Space Station (ISS).

The experiment is a critical analysis of the impact of microgravity on cardiovascular and respiratory functions and was conducted in collaboration with the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), Simon Fraser University and The University of North Dakota.

Through the experiment, astronauts aboard the ISS monitor their heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level, and ECG using a bio-monitor shirt developed for the CSA. The study aims to observe changes in how astronauts’ cardiovascular and respiratory systems control blood pressure to ensure that the crew stays healthy on their way back into space.

The experiment was conducted in two phases, wherein it was first tested via a custom-fitted Bio-monitor device and a stationary bike with a cycle that AlNeyadi trained on for 25 minutes at a specific level. The data from the same was tracked by researchers who monitored the heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and activity levels on both the cycle and while he was standing still to measure balance.

In the second stage, Sultan wore the custom-fitted Bio-Monitor shirt and monitored these measurements for the same parameters while using the Cycle Ergometer and while floating in the ISS. Both the results will further be compared by the researchers on Earth to determine various countermeasures for cardiorespiratory risks in space. The research will also benefit the study and recovery of elderly patients on Earth.

Talking further about the experiment, Adnan AlRais, Mission Manager of UAE Astronaut Programme, said, “The Cardiobreath study is critical to our understanding of long-term space travel and how different activities impact the crew aboard the ISS. This partnership with CSA and the North Dakota and Simon Fraser universities has fortified our knowledge of the dynamics of cardiovascular and respiratory functions in space and how the body adapts to microgravity. We are looking forward to studying this further as it contributes to the future of safer space travel.”

The Cardiobreath study will support astronauts in investigating cardiovascular and respiratory systems and how they impact blood pressure. The study will also showcase the deconditioning that weightlessness can cause while shedding light on comparing data between male and female astronauts.

The UAE Astronaut Programme is one of the projects managed by MBRSC under the UAE’s National Space Programme and funded by the ICT Fund of the Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority (TDRA), which aims to support research and development in the ICT sector in the UAE and promote the country’s integration on the global stage.

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UAE aims to mobilise global tech, space sectors for climate action

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said: “The advanced technology and space sectors are more than essential facets of national economies…reports Asian Lite News

Key UAE government entities have partnered to boost coordination between the advanced technology and space sectors. The collaboration is aimed at harnessing emerging technological innovations and developments to tackle global climate change.

The Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology (MoIAT), UAE Space Agency, and COP28, through the Office of the UAE Special Envoy for Climate Change (OSECC) will work together to encourage organizations in the advanced technology and space sectors to share their contributions towards climate efforts at the Technology and Innovation Hub at COP28, which is set to be the most inclusive COP yet.

The collaboration aims to further contribute to COP28’s inclusive ecosystem, bringing together major technology companies, global institutions, SMEs, and space agencies to promote joint action on climate targets. It will encourage technology and industrial companies from around the world to use the UAE as a base for producing new technologies that can help drive sustainable industrial development, tackle climate change, and accelerate decarbonization.

Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology, said: “The advanced technology and space sectors are more than essential facets of national economies. They are engines of innovation and critical enablers of net zero, accelerating the development of technologies that support climate action. This collaboration will help mobilize stakeholders of all sizes ahead of COP28, where MoIAT and UAESA will convene the UAE and global innovation and space ecosystem at the Technology and Innovation Hub.”

Al Amiri added: “The UAE government has committed to making COP28 an inclusive conference that results in tangible action. The full spectrum of society and economy will be represented at COP28, and as government knowledge partners during the event, MoIAT and UAESA will welcome members of the global innovation ecosystem – including SMEs and startups – to showcase their climate technologies and innovations at the Technology and Innovation Hub.”

Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director-General and Special Representative of COP28 said: “The Technology and Innovation Hub will be an inclusive showcase for partners who have the will and capacity to help us build out the future. Harnessing technological solutions is the key to fast-tracking the energy transition; building better and more advanced early warning systems; supporting localized adaptation; and strengthening the resilience of cities, of industries, and communities.”

The partnership aims to encourage collaboration across areas of mutual interest to further enhance joint efforts, aligning industry and space sector outcomes with COP28’s objectives. By fostering cooperation, it seeks to accelerate progress towards Paris Agreement goals and strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for innovation in climate technologies.

MoIAT, the UAE Space Agency and COP28, through OSECC, will also facilitate knowledge-sharing to accelerate the development of advanced technology solutions in the lead-up to the conference, contributing to the global event’s legacy. (ANI/WAM)

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Defence India News STARTUPS News

Pixxel wins defence ministry grant to build satellites for IAF

Received as a part of the SPARK grants by iDEX, this grant will equip Pixxel to develop small satellites of up to 150 kgs for Electro-Optical, Infrared, Synthetic Aperture Radar and Hyper Spectral purposes…reports Asian Lite News

Pixxel, a Bengaluru-based space startup, has won a multi-crore grant from the Ministry of Defence to manufacture multi-payload satellites for Indian Air Force (IAF)

“We have won a multi-crore grant from iDEX (Innovations for Defence Excellence under the Ministry of Defence) for the Mission DefSpace Challenge under iDEX Prime (Space), to manufacture miniaturized multi-payload satellites for the IAF,” the startup said in a statement.

Received as a part of the SPARK grants by iDEX, this grant will equip Pixxel to develop small satellites of up to 150 kgs for Electro-Optical, Infrared, Synthetic Aperture Radar and Hyper Spectral purposes.

Pixxel has already solidified its position as a leading innovator in the space tech sector, building and launching made in India and the world’s highest-resolution commercial hyperspectral imaging satellites. Leveraging this indigenous technology and expertise that can enable ease of manufacture, low cost and ease of launch, Pixxel will now manufacture small satellites for the Indian Defense sector, the statement added.

“We are delighted to receive iDEX’s grant and utilize our expertise of building microsatellites in-house to manufacture satellites externally for the first time,” said Awais Ahmed, CEO, Pixxel. “This recognition highlights Pixxel’s dedication to pushing the boundaries of space exploration and innovation. We are grateful for the trust placed in us and excited to embark on this next phase of collaboration with the Indian government.”

Vivek Virmani, Planning Officer, DDP/MoD & Chief Operating Officer, iDEX-DIO said: “We are delighted to witness the remarkable evolution of startups in the Indian space industry, and Pixxel is a testament to the progress of private entities in this sector in such a short time. The grant is aimed at developing technologies addressing every stage of a space mission, right from mission planning and manufacturing to satellite data analytics and more.

Our confidence in Pixxel’s satellite manufacturing capabilities showcases the power of partnerships in advancing the use of satellite technology for the country. We congratulate Pixxel and look forward to working with them.”

The SPARK grants, offered to startups selected through MoD’s initiatives, are aimed at catalysing innovation enabling Indian entrepreneurs to deliver technologically advanced solutions as well as propel deep-tech innovations in India. Pixxel emerged as the winner of the grant from amongst a host of companies.

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India, UK to connect their space clusters

Freeman added the UK is committed to not trying to grow a “vertical integrated sovereign closed space economy”, but an open commercial global economy…reports Asian Lite News

Ramping up their cooperation in the area of space, India and the United Kingdom will connect their space clusters, starting with Leicester space park, UK’s Minister for Science, Research and Innovation George Freeman has said.

He said India and the UK are also discussing how they can better harness Lower Earth Observation orbits and the regulation of satellite communications.

According to Freeman, both countries are also keen to work together in the field of nuclear energy and looking forward to collaborating on nuclear fission and fusion.

“We are looking to connect the UK space cluster parks with Indian space parks, starting with Leicester (space park). So that we grow the space economy and nurture the skills for the new generation of young Indian scientists working with UK scientists and innovators in a commercial space economy,” Freeman said.

Freeman was in Mumbai last week to attend the meeting of G20 science ministers. He also met his Indian counterpart, Jitendra Singh.

He said the UK is investing in its space clusters that are spread around the country.

Freeman added the UK is committed to not trying to grow a “vertical integrated sovereign closed space economy”, but an open commercial global economy.

The UK has passed the Space Act, the first nation in Europe to launch and set the regulatory framework for space, he said. “In the next few months, this summer we are looking at how quickly to develop these ideas so when Prime Minister (Rishi) Sunak comes to India later this year, he and Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi will have a very rich package of measures to announce. So talks are going on this summer,” Freeman said.

He said India and the UK are also looking at areas where the two countries have strategic interests and very strong synergy.

“In the area of future telecoms, satellite communications, AI, and 5G, we see India as the world’s largest democracy and rapidly becoming the biggest and influential economy.

“India’s adoption of technologies and the regulation of those technologies would be absolutely key for global security. So we have agreed to work on those very important technologies to develop both technological cooperation and also regulatory cooperation,” the UK minister said.

India’s innovation economy, the scale of growth and the digital technologies mean UK and India have a very, very exciting few years next decade, Freeman added.

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US to fly Indian astronauts to space

The leaders applauded our growing cooperation on earth and space science, and space technologies…reports Asian Lite News

After Russia in 1984, it is now the US to fly Indian astronauts to space.

But this time the US will fly Indian astronauts to the International Space Station next year — much ahead of India’s own human space mission — Gaganyaan.

According to the joint statement issued by the US White House, the US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi set a course to reach new frontiers across all sectors of space cooperation.

The leaders applauded our growing cooperation on earth and space science, and space technologies.

“They welcomed the decision of NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation) to develop a strategic framework for human spaceflight cooperation by the end of 2023,” the statement said.

“The leaders hailed the announcement by NASA to provide advanced training to Indian astronauts at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, with a goal of mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station in 2024,” the statement notes.

It may be recalled that it was Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma who had travelled to space in a Russian rocket in 1984.

It will be interesting to know who from India will be travelling to the International Space Station on an American rocket.

Already four Indian Air Force (IAF) officials have undergone astronaut training in Russia as a part of India’s Gaganyaan programme.

Whether the same four will be considered for the US-Indo space programme or a different set of people is not known.

Be that as it may, the other Indo-US joint space programme NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) — an earth observation satellite — will be orbited by an Indian rocket next year from the Sriharikota rocket port in Andhra Pradesh.

The NISAR is an earth observation satellite jointly built by NASA and ISRO.

The satellite has already reached India from the US.

Modi and Biden called for enhanced commercial collaboration between the US and Indian private sectors in the entire value chain of the space economy and to address export controls and facilitate technology transfer.

“President Biden deeply appreciated India’s signing of the Artemis Accords, which advance a common vision of space exploration for the benefit of all humankind,” the White House statement said.

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