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NASA, ISRO in talks for developing satellite jointly

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Mini-SAR flown on the Chandrayaan-1 and LRO spacecraft. Photo: NASA/ISRO

BANGALORE (PTI): US space agency NASA and India's premier space agency ISRO are in talks for jointly building a satellite for the first time.

"Now, there is a feasibility study going on whether we can jointly make a satellite, with synthetic aperture radar (SAR) payloads working on two frequency bands - L-band and S-band", Chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) K Radhakrishnan told PTI here.

Charles F Bolden Jr., Administrator of National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) of United States, visited the Space Applications Centre (SAC) of ISRO in Ahmedabad on June 25.

He had a meeting with Radhakrishnan, also Secretary, Department of Space, along with senior officials of ISRO to discuss the ongoing cooperative activities between ISRO and NASA and also the potential areas of future cooperation.

"...the joint satellite mission is an important step. It's not making an instrument and plugging it actually. It's working together. That's what we are discussing. It (working together) should happen in the next few months", Radhakrishnan said.

"Both organisations are coming together and saying let's develop it together...use your strength, use my strength. That's a good way of working", he said.

"It (the proposed satellite) is interesting from scientific point of view, it's interesting from normal resource management point of view," he said.

Radhakrishnan said NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory would make the radar system "if it (in case of NASA, ISRO deciding to work together on the mission) is getting through".

On ISRO's role, he said, "We will be working together. Some will be built by us, some will be built by them. So, this (work-sharing) has to be finalised", adding, data generated by the mission would be used by both ISRO and NASA.

Radhakrishnan hinted at the possibility of ISRO making the satellite for the joint mission, with launch from Indian soil.

In this context, he pointed to the Indo-French joint satellite missions Megha-Tropiques and Saral, with Paris opting for Indian satellites for the ventures with 'desi' rockets.

Tags:

NASA  ISRO  Satellite  
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