Bengaluru: – Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will be increasing cooperation with the QUAD partner countries. India, the United States, Japan and Australia are working on various space projects. These include the Nisar Satellite project of ISRO and NASA and Moon mission of ISRO and Japan.
Last week, a virtual meeting of the leaders of the QUAD member countries was held. Various issues were discussed during the meeting. The decision to work in collaboration for the development of futuristic technologies also was taken. This was also mentioned in the joint statement issued after the meeting. An official informed that QUAD countries would be forming various working groups for this purpose.
Technological cooperation in space is going to prove vital. ISRO and NASA are currently working on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission. The satellite will be launched in 2022. NISAR is an imaging satellite working on L and S-band frequencies simultaneously.
This satellite will facilitate the detailed study of the earth and its atmosphere. NASA will be supplying L Band GPS Receiver, Solid State Recorder and Payload Data Subsystem for this mission. In comparison, India will be making S-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) and propulsion vehicle available for the mission. It was reported only last week that ISRO had developed the S-Band SAR necessary for the mission.
Recently, ISRO and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reviewed the space cooperation between the two countries on various levels. Discussions were held on Earth Observation, Moon Mission and Navigation Systems, which form a part of India-Japan space cooperation. Opportunities and exchanges in this sector also were discussed at this time. ISRO and JAXA also signed an implementing agreement. As per the agreement, rice farming and gas quality will be observed with the satellites’ data.
ISRO and JAXA will be carrying out a joint moon mission in 2023, and a spacecraft will be sent to the southern part of the moon. The Joint Moon mission has been named Lunar Polar Exploration (LUPEX).
Other than this, the Australian Space Agency (ASA) is also working in collaboration with ISRO on various projects. In January, a virtual meeting was held between ISRO and ASA. At this time, discussions were held regarding the implementation of space science, technology and the training cooperation agreement signed between the governments of both countries in 2012. ASA Chief Enrico Palermo also participated in the meeting. Currently, India and Australia are jointly working on an earth observation satellite. A transportable terminal also will be built in Australia for ISRO’s human-crewed space mission, ‘Gaganyaan’.
India is progressing very rapidly in the space sector, and the world had to stand up and take notice of the Indian achievements in the space sector. India has also started the commercial launching of satellites, and NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of ISRO, launched one Brazilian and one Australian satellite a few days ago. It has also been reported that other countries also have contacted NSIL for satellite launches.
Last year, India opened up the space sector for private companies. The space sector is receiving major investments since then. Many foreign companies are coming forward to invest in this sector in India. Many Indian start-ups are also operating in this field. Recently, ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said that ISRO plans to outsource most of the undertakings to private sector companies, focusing only on advanced research. Against this background, the increasing cooperation between ISRO and the QUAD countries becomes significant.