Washington DC, US: After five years of efforts, India and the US will finally sign the Space Situational Awareness (SSA) Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which will help in the exchange of data on the threat posed to the satellites and other assets of the two countries.
The MoU will be signed between the diplomatic and defence leadership of India and the US during the 2+2 Ministerial dialogue on Monday between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on the Indian side, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin representing the US.
Through the SSA agreement, India will receive data from the US about space debris and other objects in space and the potential threat they may pose to the safety and security of the new launches as well as the existing satellites and other space assets.
In addition, the SSA framework will ensure the sharing of data and services to make certain, the long-term sustainability of outer space activities of the two countries, which will protect the two countries’ satellites from man-made or natural threats.
Space cooperation has repeatedly been reflected during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings with the American leadership. During PM’s visit to Washington in September last year, the Indian leader had discussed India-US bilateral cooperation in the space sector with US Vice President Kamala Harris, who heads the National Space Council of America.
Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has been working on the orbital debris tracking capability by deploying new radars and optical telescopes under the Network for Space Objects Tracking and Analysis (NETRA) project, a dedicated control centre for SSA activities set up in Bengaluru.
NETRA is expected to become involved in various international collaborations on SSA.
According to the schedule released by the US State Department Secretary of State, Blinken will meet EAM Jaishankar at the Department of State at 9:00 a.m (local time) today, post which Blinken, Secretary of Defence Austin, EAM Jaishankar and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will participate in the India-US 2+2 Ministerial Dialogue at the Department of State.
(This is an ANI story. Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by News24.)
first published:April 11, 2022, 8:09 p.m.