TAKING A step forward from the last meeting of their leaders, India and the US on Friday said the two countries were making efforts towards the establishment of a working group on greater collaboration in space-related commerce.
Following a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joe Biden on Friday, on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, the two countries also spoke about closer cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, especially in the development of next-generation small modular reactor technologies.
Space cooperation had formed a very important part of the joint statement between the two countries during Prime Minister Modi’s state visit to the US in June this year. At that time, the two countries had announced that India would join the US-led Artemis Accords for planetary exploration, and that the space agencies of the two countries, ISRO and NASA, would mount a joint mission to the International Space Station in 2024.
The joint statement following their meeting on Friday reiterated those commitments and progressed a little further.
“Having set a course to reach new frontiers across all sectors of space cooperation, the leaders welcomed efforts towards establishment of a Working Group for commercial space collaboration under the existing India-US Civil Space Joint Working Group,” the joint statement said.
The two countries also announced their intention to work together on planetary defence.
“India and the United States also intend to increase coordination on planetary defence to protect planet Earth and space assets from the impact of asteroids and near-Earth objects, including US support for India’s participation in asteroid detection and tracking via the Minor Planet Center,” the joint statement said.
It said President Biden congratulated Prime Minister Modi and the scientists and engineers of Indian Space Research Organisation on the success of Chandrayaan-3 and Aditya-L1 missions, and added that the discussions on the NASA-ISRO joint human spaceflight mission next year had already begun.
Jawan box office collection day 1: Shah Rukh Khan delivers biggest opening in history of Hindi cinema, earns Rs 129.6 crore worldwide
Jawan Movie Review Live and Box Office Updates: Shah Rukh Khan’s film is on a record-breaking spree
“Determined to deepen our partnership in outer space exploration, ISRO and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have commenced discussions on modalities, capacity building, and training for mounting a joint effort to the International Space Station in 2024, and are continuing efforts to finalise a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation by the end of 2023,” the statement said.
On the nuclear side, the two countries emphasised the importance of expanding nuclear energy to intensify transition to cleaner sources of energy because of climate change considerations. The two leaders “welcomed intensified consultations between the relevant entities on both sides to expand opportunities for facilitating India-US collaboration in nuclear energy, including in development of next generation small modular reactor technologies in collaborative mode”.
The US also reaffirmed its support for India’s membership in Nuclear Suppliers Group, and said it would continue to talk to others to achieve this goal.