ScienceUS and India will join hands over deep space exploration

US and India will join hands over deep space exploration

We’ve been reminded once again that India and the US are working out a plan for cooperation over deep space exploration. Richard Verma, American Ambassador to India, told students at IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) in Chennai about the two countries’ intention to go together beyond the boundaries of space man has traversed so far.

Back in 2014, it came to light that NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization) were keen to partner up over an Earth observation project as well as a Mars exploration program. As Verma stated at IIT, the two will join hands over deep space exploration to not just Mars, but beyond the red planet too, according to PTI.

Mars Orbiter Mangalyaan Mission Control

Developed nations like the US hardly thought of India’s space prowess as one to reckon with until Mangalyaan. We became the only country in the world to have successfully made it to Mars on its first attempt, an achievement which was acknowledged via the 2015 Space Pioneer Award. Additionally, ISRO spent just $75 million to build and launch the orbiter.

The Soviet space program, NASA and ESA (European Space Agency) are the only other organizations apart from ISRO that have successfully kicked off a mission to Mars. The Indian space agency is already thinking of sending another craft to the red planet and may also start working on an expedition to Venus. A flyby to an asteroid is supposed to be on its list too.

Aditya, a small satellite designed to observe the changing moods of the Sun, is also in the pipeline. Most recently, ESA chief Johann-Dietrich Woerner said it was necessary for the nations involved in the $100 billion ISS (International Space Station) program to stop thinking of it as a ‘closed club’ and welcome aboard emerging powers like India and China.

For the US and India to start engaging in deep space exploration through mutual cooperation, the former will first have to drop the air of condescension it usually reserves for the latter’s ambitious scientific ventures. Let all the comments about how we should be dealing with poverty first, from people who can’t name a single country free of it begin!

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