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Indian space programmes on demand worldwide: ISRO

By Fakir Balaji, IANS

Hyderabad : Indian space programmes for education, healthcare, management of natural resources and weather forecast and disaster management are in great demand the world over due to their domino effect on living standards, a top Indian space agency official said here Thursday.

“Nations across Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific are making a beeline to seek our expertise and resources for replicating the success of our space programmes and applications.

“Most advanced countries want to collaborate with India in using such space services for their people, while others are trying to copy our models for tele-education, tele-medicine and village resource centres,” Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chairperson G. Madhavanan Nair told reporters at the 58th International Astronautical Congress here.

Giving an assessment of the global space agencies of ISRO’s impressive achievements in the space arena, Nair said India was not only being counted among them, but was in demand for collaborations in the ongoing programmes for the benefit of humankind and explorations.

“Bilateral meetings with the heads of space agencies from the US, Russia, Europe, Japan and China during the space summit have created a lot of opportunities for partnerships and mutual cooperation in the space missions being undertaken by them as well as us.

“Latin American and African countries are keen to implement our space programmes in improving education and healthcare of their people. Similarly, the Asia-Pacific nations are seeking our expertise in disaster management, flood control, exploration of minerals and identification of ground water resources,” Nair pointed out.

In lunar exploration, Japan has offered to share the data from its Kaguya mission and join hands with ISRO for setting up a base on the moon for explorations of other planets in future.

“The US and European space agencies (NASA and ESA) are already onboard our lunar mission (Chandrayaan-1) with their experimental payloads as piggybacks for studying the origin and evolution of the earth’s only natural satellite (moon).

“NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and China have also offered to cooperate with us beyond the ISS (international space station) to explore the moon and other planets,” Nair affirmed.

Asked whether ISRO would seek NASA’s assistance in the proposed manned mission and beyond, Nair said that as in the case of developing capabilities in launch vehicles and satellites, the space agency would have self-reliance in building heavier rockets and spacecraft for future lunar and manned missions into space and possible moon later.

“Experience over the decades, especially during the sanctions period when dual-use technologies were denied, shows it would be prudent to be self-reliant in developing our own capabilities for taking up future missions in space, to the moon, Mars and inter-planetary explorations,” Nair asserted.