ISRO taking space ties with US, Japan, Australia to higher orbit

Bengaluru, Mar 16 (PTI):
As Quad takes a leap forward, India is deepening space ties with the US, Japan and Australia — the other three member nations of the group.
Known as the “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue”, the Quad grouping held its first virtual summit last week.
The four countries plan to establish a series of working groups that will focus on climate change; critical and emerging technologies, including working to set technology standards and norms and jointly developing some of the critical technologies of the future, officials said.
The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) last week shipped the S-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) to US space agency NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as the joint NASA-ISRO SAR (NISAR) mission moved forward. NISAR is a joint collaboration for a dual-frequency L and S-band SAR for earth observation.
On March 11, Bengaluru-headquartered ISRO and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) reviewed the ongoing cooperation in earth observation, lunar cooperation and satellite navigation.
“Both sides have agreed to explore opportunities for cooperation in space situational awareness(SSA) and professional exchange programme”, according to ISRO.
On the occasion, ISRO and JAXA signed an ‘Implementing Arrangement’ for collaborative activities on rice crop area and air quality monitoring, using satellite data”.
ISRO and JAXA have planned a joint mission — Lunar Polar Exploration (LUPEX) — to explore the Moon’s south pole in 2023.
LUPEX received a boost as Japan reportedly earmarked 2.8 billion Yen (USD 26 million) for it for the fiscal 2021.
In February, ISRO and Australian Space Agency (ASA) inked an Amendment of the ‘2012 India Australia Inter-Governmental MoU for cooperation in Civil Space Science, Technology and Education’ .
This Amendment makes India’s Department of Space and ASA as the Executive Organisations and provides scope for other related entities to conclude implementing arrangements for specific cooperation activities.

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