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US Ambassador Eric Garcetti proposes development of "QUAD satellite" with India-US partnership

Us Ambassador Eric Garcetti during the US National Day celebration, in Mumbai on last Wednesday, May 22, 2024. A PTI Photo

BENGALURU (PTI): US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has proposed to develop a "QUAD satellite" involving the partnership of India and the US.

During his official trip to Bengaluru last Friday, he visited the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquarters and met with Chairman S Somanath and discussed the ongoing cooperation between India and the US in the field of space.

In a statement, the space agency said the US Ambassador proposed the development of a "QUAD satellite".

During the meeting, the ISRO chairman pointed to the opportunity to develop advanced detectors and packaging technologies with US-India academic institutions.

He also emphasised the importance of building and standardising docking interfaces across human space programmes to enable the utilisation of space platforms by other countries and joining hands to build a navigation system on the moon, either in orbit or on the surface.

Taking to 'X', Garcetti last Saturday shared how he was honoured to meet the ISRO Chairman and how they were committed to further strengthening the partnership between India and the United States in the field of space.

"Honored to meet @ISRO Chairman Dr S Somanath and team! From advancing #NISAR satellite to fostering human spaceflight and promoting commercial space endeavours, the #USIndiaSpace commitment stands strong and is advancing our shared goals within the #USIndia Initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology," he said.

According to ISRO, the discussions that followed highlighted both countries' mutual interests and shared goals in advancing space science, technology, and the space economy.

Ongoing associations through various Joint Working Groups, Artemis Accord, NISAR, and the use of the Laser Reflectometer Array on Chandrayaan-3 also figured in the discussions.

Garcetti also inquired about the role played by the Department of Space in fostering commercial space activities.

Chairman Somanath elaborated on this, saying that for the first time, payload technology and space-bound hardware are being built in Indian facilities that are outside ISRO labs.

ISRO plans to source payloads and satellites for its programmes from Indian companies and enable them to enter the global market.

Other talks included NASA's participation in India's proposal for a G-20 satellite for environment and climate change, and encouragement of cooperation between commercial companies from both countries for quicker and more effective outcomes, Gaganyaan cargo module as an option for transfer of cargo to ISS.

The Ambassador expressed his admiration for ISRO’s accomplishments and its role in global space exploration.

The meeting also touched upon future programmes, including the exchange visits of both sides' professionals, continuation of balloon experiments, and identifying milestone events.

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