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Source: Economictimes

“Close on the heels of the launch of a Brazilian satellite by ISRO, India and Italy have decided to explore opportunities in the field of earth observation, space science and robotic and human exploration. The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) held a bilateral meeting with Italian Space Agency (ASI) on virtual mode on Wednesday, as part of its strategy to strengthen international partnerships.

ISRO Chairman and Secretary in the Department of Space (DoS) K Sivan and ASI President Giorgio Saccoccia led their respective delegations.

“”Both sides reviewed the on-going cooperation and agreed to form more thematic working groups to explore cooperation opportunities in earth observation, space science, robotic exploration and human exploration””, Bengaluru- headquartered ISRO said in a statement.

On February 28, ISRO successfully launched the 637-kg Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 on board PSLV-C51 rocket from Sriharikota spaceport.

Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Marcos Pontes visited ISRO’s Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SDSC), Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh’s Nellore district, about 100 kms from Chennai, and witnessed the launch.

The Minister and his delegation later had a meeting with an ISRO team led by Sivan, and both sides agreed to work together to enhance the bilateral space cooperation and take it to the higher level.

Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who heads the DoS, also had a virtual interaction with Pontes and officials of the Brazilian space agency.

“”Brazil has requested India’s support in procurement of material and systems for its launch vehicle programme,”” a DoS statement said.

“”Cooperation possibilities in future space science missions, utilising ISRO’s PS4-orbital platform (PS4-OP), space weather studies etc. were discussed””, the official statement said.

PS4-OP refers to a novel idea formulated byISROto use the spentPS4stage (fourth stage of PSLV) to carry out in-orbit scientific experiments for an extended duration of one to six months.

Sivan also had a virtual meeting with the Head of Australian Space Agency, Enrico Palermo, on February 17.

“”Both leaders reviewed the status of on-going cooperation activities in earth observation, satellite navigation, space situational awareness and establishment of transportable terminal in Australia to support India’s ‘Gaganyaan’ programme””, ISRO had said at the time.

According to ISRO, India has always recognised that space has dimension beyond national considerations, which can only be addressed along with international partners.”