USA to Commence Advanced Training for ISRO Astronauts at NASA Johnson Space Center

The Gateway Station is similar to the International Space Station currently in low Earth orbit, but the Gateway will orbit the Moon. Incidentally, the Gateway will be the first space station ever to exist outside of low Earth orbit or LEO.

 The United States and India have concluded the Strategic Framework for Human Spaceflight Cooperation, marking a significant milestone in their space partnership. The framework aims to deepen interoperability in space and commence advanced training for ISRO astronauts at the NASA Johnson Space Center. The training will be the first-ever joint effort between NASA and ISRO astronauts at the International Space Station. NASA will have a hand in training two Indian astronauts, one of whom will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) later this year. ISRO chairman S Somanath has stated that ISRO will likely select four astronauts for training.
India’s planned space station, the Bharatiya Antariksha Station, is expected to be completed by 2035. The station will be smaller than the International Space Station (ISS) and will have a mass of 20 tonnes. It will be used for microgravity experiments and will orbit Earth at an altitude of around 400 km. The fact sheet issued by the US and India after the iCET Dialogue also highlighted the exploration of opportunities for India’s participation in the Lunar Gateway Programme. The Lunar Gateway represents a significant leap in human space exploration, offering a versatile platform for lunar surface missions, scientific research, and preparation for future deep-space endeavours spearheaded by the US.
The Gateway Station is similar to the International Space Station currently in low Earth orbit, but the Gateway will orbit the Moon. Incidentally, the Gateway will be the first space station ever to exist outside of low Earth orbit or LEO. The fact sheet also noted that the space agencies of the two countries are preparing for the launch of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, a jointly developed satellite that will map the entirety of the Earth’s surface twice every 12 days as part of efforts to combat climate change and other global challenges together.NISAR will be the first radar imaging satellite to use dual frequencies. The mission will survey all of Earth’s land and ice-covered surfaces every 12 days. It has a three-year duration. The main aim of the NISAR satellite is to observe the most complex natural processes of the planet, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, as well as earthquakes, volcanoes, and landslides.
The iCET talks also saw the launch of a new partnership between the US Space Force and the Indian startups — 114ai and 3rdiTech — including on advancing space situational awareness, data fusion technologies, and infra-red sensor semiconductor manufacturing. The two sides welcomed India’s observation of the US Space Command’s Global Sentinel Exercise at Vandenburg Space Force Base in February and its return as a participant in the exercise in 2025.
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