Rising global stature of ISRO: 45 countries to be trained in making nano-satellites

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New Delhi | January 21, 2019 9:44 PM

According to ISRO, this programme is the agency's initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50) in 1968.

SLV’s 45th flight had onboard micro and nano satellites from other countries including the US, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain.

Around 45 countries will be trained by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to build nano-satellites as part of India’s Space Diplomacy. Five South American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Panama, along with Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Oman, and Portugal are part of the first batch getting trained by ISRO.

Around 30 participants are being trained under the Unispace Nano-satellite Assembly and Training by ISRO (UNNATI), which was launched last week in Bengaluru. The Indian space agency will share its knowledge and expertise in space sector with other countries that can benefit. Spread over eight weeks the participants will get trained at UR Rao Satellite Centre (URSC)’s facilities in technologies related to making nano-satellites.

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The state run URSC is the lead centre for building satellites and developing associated satellite technologies and there will be three batches and around ninety participants from 45 countries to get trained.

According to ISRO, this programme is the agency’s initiative to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50) in 1968.

Nano-satellites are small satellites weighing between 1-10 kg. The course will include theoretical work, as well as training on assembly, integration and testing of nano-satellites.

As has been reported earlier by the Financial Express Online, ISRO launched a nano-satellite belonging to Colombian Air Force ‘Facsat1’, which was 30 cm long and 10 metres high onboard PSLV-C43.

Several South American countries including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Bolivia, and Colombia have been reaching out to ISRO for either launching or developing satellites.

PSLV’s 45th flight had onboard micro and nano satellites from other countries including the US, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Finland, Malaysia, Netherlands and Spain.

In 2017, for launching its first homemade palm-sized satellite, the University of Chile got a ride onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C38 rocket. SUCHAI, the nano-satellite of the University of Chile, was a standardised satellite of Cubesat type of 1 litre of volume and 1 kg of weight.

Brazil is getting ready for launching its satellite which has been designed, assembled and tested in that country; the Amazonia-1 satellite will be the first satellite for Earth Observation to be launched with ISRO’s PSLV in 2020.

The Brazilian Space Agency (AEB), which already has long-standing space cooperation with China, has been in touch with ISRO and the ground stations in Brazil (Alcantara and Cuiaba) which have been providing tracking support for Indian satellites (Chandrayaan-I, Megha Tropiques, MOM, and ASTROSAT) on a commercial basis.

Also, Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) has concluded a MoU on space cooperation with ISRO, which will help to conduct preliminary studies of establishing a ground station in Bolivia for supporting India’s space agency’ s space operations.

Diplomatic sources have already confirmed that both ISRO and National Space Agency of Kazakhstan are in talks to develop together a satellite and will also look at a possible launch through the agency. There already exists agreement between the two countries related to space research.

Mexico besides seeking India’s shoestring-budget space technology to launch its own satellites is keen on space agencies of both countries to work together and help in Mexico’s water management

A joint statement released at the end of Prime minister Narendra Modi to Mexcio, in 2016, welcomed collaboration in space science, earth observation, climate and environmental studies, and the efficient use of space-related resources available in India as well as in Mexico for remote sensing, advance warning for disaster prevention and launch of satellites between the Mexican Space Agency (AEM) and the ISRO.

Modi’s visit in February 2018 resulted in Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between ISRO and Oman’s Ministry of Transport and Communications seeking cooperation in areas such as space applications and technologies, space science, satellite-based navigation, and surveillance, among others.

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