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India, US to collaborate on Earth, Mars missions

India, US to collaborate on Earth, Mar missionsUS, October 1, 2014: K. Radhakrishnan, chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and NASA Administrator Charles Bolden have signed two documents to launch a NASA-ISRO satellite mission to observe Earth and set up a pathway for future joint missions to explore Mars.

The two leaders signed the agreement that allows formation of a NASA-ISRO Mars Working Group to explore increased cooperation between the two countries in Mars exploration.

The two agencies also inked a deal how they will work together on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission scheduled to launch in 2020.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said, “This partnership will yield tangible benefits to both our countries and the world.”

NISAR will be the first satellite mission to use two different L-band and S-band radar frequencies to calculate changes in our planet's surface less than a centimeter across. With this it will also be possible to observe a wide range of changes from the dynamics of earthquakes and volcanoes to the flow rates of glaciers and ice sheets.

The joint NISAR Earth-observing mission will also make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes. Potential areas of joint research include ice sheet collapse, ecosystem disturbances and natural hazards.

NISAR will enhance our understanding of key impacts of climate change and further the knowledge of natural hazards.

Source: NASA