Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu’s Paraguay visit: India offers its space expertise to the South American nation

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Updated: March 7, 2019 3:08:14 PM

In 2017, the University of Chile got a ride onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C38 rocket. The faculty of the university is already working with professors at IIT-Madras for doing joint missions.

Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu?s Paraguay visit (Twitter photo)

India offers its expertise and experience in using space technology for development. At the bilateral meeting between Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and his Paraguayan counterpart Vice President, Hugo Velázquez, Naidu said that, “Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the space agency of Paraguay could cooperate in: resource mapping; earth observation data sharing; manufacturing and launching satellites on commercial basis; establishing a ground station to receive, process and disseminate data from Indian Remote Sensing satellites for use in various remote sensing applications.”

He also said that the two could collaborate on training on manufacturing small satellite, and, customised training on specific areas of space technology applications including natural resources assessment and disaster management support. As has been reported earlier by the Financial Express Online, Paraguay created its Space Agency in 2014 and, in January 2018, it defined its space policy.

“In this initial stage, international cooperation initiatives are essential to promote capacity building and technology transfers,” Gustavo Rojas, Researcher at the Center of Analysis and Dissemination of the Paraguayan Economy – CADEP had said in an earlier interaction. According to him, China has been offering its competitive satellite construction and launch services to various South American countries. While, countries like Venezuela and Bolivia have launched their first satellites with Chinese cooperation, Paraguay does not maintain official relations with China.

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“India could become a strategic partner to boost its space program at low cost. The spatial cooperation directed to the environmental, climatic and telecommunications area would be relevant,” he had said. Just last November, a Colombian satellite was launched from Sriharikota by ISRO, along with other countries onboard PSLV-C43. The launch was commercially contracted through Antrix Corporation Ltd, the commercial arm of ISRO.

Financial Express has been keenly following the Space Diplomacy with the South American nations and was the first to break the news about the Colombia being in touch with ISRO to launch the nano-satellite belonging to Colombian air force, ‘Facsat1’. India’s successful Mars mission some years ago has proved to the world that ISRO has the capability of achieving inter-planetary missions in a cost-effective manner. This has attracted countries from across the globe seeking cooperation with the Indian Space agency for either developing or launching their satellites.

Countries including Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have already been in touch with ISRO for launching or developing satellites. In 2017, the University of Chile got a ride onboard the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C38 rocket. The faculty of the university is already working with professors at IIT-Madras for doing joint missions.

As reported earlier, 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.

Just last year, Bolivian Space Agency (ABE) 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.

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