Thursday, June 20, 2024

US plans Indian astronaut mission

US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti has announced that America plans to send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station by the end of this year. Additionally, Garcetti mentioned that the NISAR project, a collaborative Earth-observing mission between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is also slated for launch by the end of the year. He emphasized, “We promised when PM (Narendra) Modi came (to the US in 2023) that by the end of this year, we will do this and our mission is still on track to be able to go in space this year.”

The US ambassador was speaking on the sidelines of an event to mark the 248th Independence Day of the United States.

He said both India and the US should look at coordinating research and critical emerging technology so that they can increasingly leverage each other’s strengths.

The diplomat remarked that India successfully landed ‘Chandrayaan 3’ on the Moon last year at a fraction of the cost compared to a similar lunar mission undertaken by the US.

He noted, “The US possesses certain capabilities that India currently lacks. When combined, both countries can leverage these capacities effectively.”

Regarding civilian nuclear energy cooperation, Garcetti suggested that following elections, the Indian government could address lingering liability issues, paving the way for collaborative efforts. He highlighted two designated sites in India – Mithi Virdhi in Gujarat and Kovadda in Andhra Pradesh – for the construction of nuclear reactors by US companies.

However, companies have expressed concerns about the Civil Liability Nuclear Damage Act 2010, which establishes prompt compensation for victims of damage resulting from a nuclear incident through a no-fault liability regime.

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