NASA chief says U.S. and India to expand collaboration in space; to train Indian astronaut for ISS

During the iCET Dialogue, National Security Advisers of the U.S. and India said they were working toward commencing advanced training for ISRO astronauts in the U.S

Published - June 20, 2024 04:44 pm IST - Washington

NASA chief Bill Nelson.

NASA chief Bill Nelson. | Photo Credit: AP

NASA administrator Bill Nelson has said that the U.S. space agency will expand collaboration with India and it will include a "joint effort" aboard the International Space Station with an Indian astronaut.

Mr. Nelson's comments came after a fact sheet issued by the U.S. and India after the iCET Dialogue between U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on June 17 said they were working toward commencing advanced training for ISRO astronauts in the U.S.

"Building on my visit to India last year, NASA continues to further the United States and India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology for the benefit of humanity. Together we are expanding our countries' collaboration in space, to include a joint effort aboard the International Space Station with an ISRO astronaut," Mr. Nelson, wrote on X on June 19.

"While specific details about the mission are still in work, these efforts will support future human spaceflight and improve life here on Earth," Mr. Nelson said.

In New Delhi, Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Doval on June 17 said they concluded the Strategic Framework for Human Spaceflight Cooperation to deepen interoperability in space and are working toward commencing advanced training for ISRO astronauts at the NASA Johnson Space Centre.

The two leaders exchanged views on securing a carrier for the first-ever joint effort between NASA and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) astronauts at the International Space Station, which will mark a significant milestone in the India-U.S. space partnership and space exploration.

They also noted that the space agencies of the two countries are preparing for the launch of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, a jointly developed satellite that will map the entirety of the Earth's surface twice every 12 days as part of efforts to combat climate change and other global challenges together.

The meeting between Mr. Sullivan and Mr. Doval also concluded that India and the U.S. must remain at the forefront of developing critical technologies as part of a larger strategic interest.

Mr. Doval and his counterpart also unveiled a raft of transformative initiatives to deepen India-U.S. cooperation in areas of artificial intelligence, semiconductor, critical minerals, advanced telecommunication and defence space.

The iCET was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Joe Biden in May 2022 to forge greater collaboration between India and the U.S. in areas of critical technologies.

Mr. Sullivan visited Delhi from June 17 to 18, the first trip to India by a senior Biden Administration official after the Modi government came to power for the third term.

The U.S. National Security Adviser was accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising senior U.S. government officials and industry leaders.

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