Stepping up cooperation in the space sector, India and the US are expected to launch a joint Earth observation project -- NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite -- later this year, Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh said on Friday. He made the remarks during the visit of a US delegation led by Sethuraman Panchanathan, the director of the National Science Foundation.
The NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) Mission will measure the Earth's changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces and ice masses to provide information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise and groundwater and will support a host of other applications.
It will also observe the Earth's land- and ice-covered surfaces globally with 12-day regularity on ascending and descending passes, sampling the Earth on average every six days for a baseline three-year mission.
"The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite is expected to be launched in 2023," the minister told the delegation.
Singh also called for scaling up cooperation in the space sector and mainly in emerging areas such as management of space debris.
The minister proposed deeper cooperation in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), cyber security , quantum, semiconductor, clean energy, advanced wireless, biotechnology, geosciences, astrophysics and defence.
Panchanathan said the US was open to new avenues of cooperation in areas such as critical minerals, smart agriculture, bio-economy and 6G technologies.
He conveyed to the minister that more joint calls would be taken from March on identified projects.
Ajay Kumar Sood, principal scientific adviser to the Centre, S Chandrasekhar, Ministry of Science and Technology secretary, Satyajit Mohanty, National Security Council Secretariat joint secretary and other senior officials of all six Science and Technology departments were present at the meeting.