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India, US to cooperate on space ventures

The governments of India and the United States have announced a series of measures designed to increase cooperation between the two nations on space projects. Under one agreement, India and the US agreed to work together to disseminate data from an American weather satellite system scheduled for launch later in the decade.

India’s ISRO space agency will work with the US to establish 15 ground stations worldwide, including one in India, designed to receive images from the American National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS) weather satellite system, scheduled to begin deployment later in the decade. ISRO will also help develop sensors that will be flown on the spacecraft. The US and India also approved out a deal to allow Boeing Satellite Systems to work with Indian firms on the design and construction of communications satellites.

In a separate development, ISRO officials said two American payloads have been shortlisted to be included on that nation’s first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1; one of the payloads will be included in the mission, scheduled for launch in 2007 or 2008.