NASA administrator Bill Nelson lands in India to strengthen ISRO relationship


NASA Administrator Bill Nelson touched down in India on Tuesday, expressing his enthusiasm for a week of meetings and events aimed at strengthening the partnership between NASA and ISRO. He emphasized that India is a leader in space and is looking forward to a productive visit. “Touchdown in India! Ready to embark on a week of engaging meetings and events to grow @NASA’s partnership with @isro. India is a leader in space and we’re looking forward to a productive visit,” Nelson said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).

He will also be visiting the UAE for a series of meetings with key government officials.

Nelson, a career politician and administrator, represented Florida for 18 years in the United States Senate and 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. He served on key committees, including as ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee and chairman of the Subcommittees on Science and Space in both the Senate and the House. 

Nelson will meet with space officials in both countries to deepen bilateral cooperation across a broad range of innovation and research-related areas, especially in human exploration and Earth science, the American space agency NASA said in a release.

Nelson’s visit to India will fulfil a commitment as part of the US and India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology initiated by President Joe Biden.

In the India leg, Nelson will visit several locations, including the Bengaluru-based facilities where the NISAR spacecraft, a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and its Indian counterpart ISRO, is undergoing testing and integration for launch in 2024. NISAR is short for NASA ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar.

It is an equal collaboration between NASA and ISRO and marks the first time the two agencies have cooperated on hardware development for an Earth-observing mission.

While in the UAE, Nelson will also participate in the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference. It will be the first time a NASA administrator has attended the conference.

Also, during the visit, students in each country will have the opportunity to meet with Nelson to discuss science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and their roles as members of the Artemis Generation.

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