“It is wonderful to see how the relationship between NASA and ISRO has grown and evolved, the agreements we have signed since this group last convened, and the great promise our relationship holds for the future,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in his address to the fourth US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group meeting.
The value of bilateral cooperation was well reflected, for instance, through the inclusion of two NASA instruments on the successful Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission, which led to significant discoveries about lunar surface characteristics, he said.
“Earth observation data and information yield a broad range of societal benefits, and through cooperation between our agencies, we’ve embarked on a number of collaborative activities in this area,” Bolden said in his address to the top officials from both the countries to discuss the ways and means to take the collaboration between the two countries to the next phase.
“Our active cooperation on Oceansat-2 data utilisation is certain to yield deeper understanding of our world’s oceans in all their complexity and cooperation in the Global Precipitation Measurement / Megha-Tropiques mission, with the goal of better understanding tropical meteorology and climate, will also advance our knowledge,” Bolden said.
“We applaud India’s success in all its space endeavours, including new activities in astrophysics, heliophysics, and other areas.
From the recent launch of the SARAL oceanographic satellite to your upcoming planned first mission to Mars, you have our very best wishes for continued success,” said the NASA Administrator.
“I know we’ve already been taking steps to bring together scientists and mission developers to examine capabilities and potential approaches for future collaborative missions, to look at ways we can work together in a number of areas,” he said in his address to the India and US officials.
Bolden commended the US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group for its continued focus on the many and varied issues before it and for keeping this work alive across the years.
According to the joint statement, existing cooperation, in the use of US and Indian earth observation satellite data, has produced information yielding a broad range of societal benefits including improved weather and monsoon forecasting, disaster management and response, improved agricultural and natural resource use and better understanding of climate change.
Through expanded cooperation between their technical agencies that operate earth observing satellites, the two sides agreed on a number of measures that will improve the use of this data to promote sustainable development, it said.
Building on NASA’s collaboration in India’s highly successful Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission in 2008, NASA and ISRO agreed to explore further cooperative space exploration work, including future missions to the moon and Mars.
Noting that continued progress is being made in promoting compatibility and interoperability between the US GPS and the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS), the joint statement said further work in this area will take place bilaterally and in multilateral bodies such as the International Committee on Global Navigation Satellite Systems (ICG).
Source: The Hindu