NASA Administrator To Visit India For Meetings With Scientists, Officials

NASA Administrator To Visit India For Meetings With Scientists, Officials

In the India leg, Bill Nelson will visit several locations.


NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is set to travel to India and the UAE beginning Monday for a series of meetings with key government officials.

Nelson will also 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.

As the first satellite mission between NASA and ISRO, NISAR is a revolutionary Earth-observing instrument, the first in the Earth System Observatory, that will measure Earth's changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses, providing information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, key information to guide efforts related to climate change, hazard mitigation, agriculture, and more.

Laurie Leshin, director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), recently told ANI that scientists from both space agencies -- ISRO and NASA -- are working closely on the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission to help make sure that they make the most out of the data that will be coming down from the spacecraft.

"We are so excited to be working between NASA and ISRO on NISAR, which is a radar machine to looks at the surface of the earth and how it is changing. In India, they are interested in understanding how the mangrove environment at the coasts is changing. We will understand how ice sheets are changing and how earthquakes and volcanoes are happening all over the world...There are many different aspects to understanding our earth better," Leshin told ANI in Bengaluru earlier this month.

NISAR 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.

About the size of an SUV and partially wrapped in gold-coloured thermal blanketing, the satellite's cylindrical radar instrument payload contains two radar systems.

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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