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Space Diplomacy: India Plans Space Pact With Saudi Arabia, Promotes Key Projects With All Four Nations | India News


NEW DELHI: To boost space diplomacy, India and Saudi Arabia have held discussions on initiating cooperation in space science and technology and explored the possibility of a space pact. In addition, New Delhi has given a boost to space ties with the Quad countries (USA, Japan and Australia) in recent weeks.
Isro had held separate meetings or discussions with the Japanese space agency JAXA, NASA and the Australian Space Agency (ASA) recently to push forward several key programs such as the joint lunar mission, the Earth Imaging Satellite Program (NISAR), navigation by satellite and the establishment of a transportable terminal in Australia to assist the Gaganyaan mission.
On Wednesday, Isro Chairman K Sivan and the Chairman of the Board of the Saudi Space Commission, Prince Sultan bin Salman, led the space meeting in virtual mode. “The two had conversations about how to initiate space cooperation in areas of mutual interest. The possibility of concluding a memorandum of understanding at the country level for space cooperation was also discussed, ”said a statement from Isro. Last December, India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Ausaf Sayeed, had held talks with Prince Sultan bin Salman in Riyadh to boost cooperation on remote sensing, satellite communications and satellite navigation projects.
On March 11, Isro and JAXA agreed on collaborative activities for the rice growing area and air quality monitoring using satellite data during a meeting between the chief of Isro and JAXA president Hiroshi Yamakawa. The two agencies reviewed ongoing programs in earth observation, lunar cooperation and satellite navigation, and also agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in space situational awareness programs and professional exchange. Both space agencies are working specifically to share Earth observation data and establish the NavIC (Indian constellation of eight navigation satellites in space) reference station of Isro in Japan.
Isro had on March 8 designated a key component of the joint Isro-Nasa SAR (NISAR) mission to the US to accelerate the Earth-imaging satellite project, which will help measure dynamic changes on the earth’s surface. , natural resources and hazards. Isro had sent the S-band synthetic aperture radar to NASA’s JPL in California so that it could integrate it with its L-band radar and sent the module back to India for launch, which will likely be in 2023. Both agencies are also there. working towards a deployment arrangement to carry NASA’s Laser Reflectometer Array (LRA) on the Chandrayaan-3 mission and explore collaboration in the manned spaceflight program.
On February 17, Isro and ASA signed an amendment to the ‘2012 intergovernmental MoU between India and Australia for cooperation in civil space science, technology and education’ in the presence of envoys from both countries. The amendment makes the Department of Space and ASA as executive organizations. Both sides also reviewed the status of Earth observation, satellite navigation, spatial situational awareness activities and the establishment of the transportable terminal in Australia to support India’s first manned mission (Gaganyaan) to space.

Times of India