India, US explore collaboration in future Mars projects, space missions

India-US Mars exploration

Discussing the possibilities of cooperation in future Mars and space exploration projects, the India-US Mars Working Group has sought to identify and implement the goals that NASA and ISRO share on Mars exploration. The working group met for a third face to face meeting on February 25 in Bengaluru focused on implementing the goals of the two leading space agencies and placed special emphasis on coordinated observations and science analysis between MAVEN, the Mars Mission of NASA, and ISRO’s MoM.

“The Mars Working Group seeks to identify and implement goals that NASA and ISRO share on Mars exploration, particularly coordinated observations and science analysis between MAVEN and MoM and NASA’s other Mars projects,” Richard Verma, US Ambassador to India, said.

India’s Mangalyaan entered the Mars orbit on September 24, 2014 and scripted history to be the only country in the world to do it on its very first attempt. While addressing the Indian diaspora at Madison square in New York in September 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that India’s mission to Mars was cheaper than the production of a Hollywood movie. The mission costed India $75 million and was hailed for its prudent use of time, money and materials. India also became the first Asian country to successfully send an orbiter to Mars.

“We can continue exploring Mars together. Our engineers can jointly develop a space craft to study the surface of Mars. Our scientists can work together, study and analyse the data and learn even more about the Red planet. Let’s go further in our solar system. Our nations could build together space craft to reach other planets in our solar system,” Mr Verma said.

The two countries also held discussions on various ways to enhance cooperation in space, including vital security aspects, at different international fora.

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