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US-India Second iCET Meeting Explores Space Collaborations

US-India meeting between PM Narendra Modi and Jake Sullivan. Credit: Narendra Modi

Ibadan, 19 June 2024. – The United States and India have held their second meeting of the U.S.-India initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) with U.S. National Security Advisor (APNSA) Jake Sullivan and Indian National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval chairing the meeting in New Delhi. Since the launch of iCET in January 2023, the United States and India have made significant strides toward deepening and expanding strategic cooperation across key technology sectors including space.

The two National Security Advisors resolved to support enhanced collaboration across governments, industry, and academia, with a particular focus on certain areas. Both parties look towards securing a carrier for the first-ever joint effort between NASA and ISRO astronauts at the International Space Station, which will mark a significant milestone in the U.S.-India space partnership and space exploration.

The meeting discussed launching a new partnership between the U.S. Space Force and the Indian startups, 114ai and 3rdiTech, including advancing space situational awareness, data fusion technologies, and infra-red sensor semiconductor manufacturing. The national security advisors also considered exploring opportunities for India’s participation in the Lunar Gateway Program, as well as joint avenues for collaboration in other space technologies.

In addition, the second iCET provided an avenue to prepare towards the launch of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, to map the entirety of the Earth’s surface twice every 12 days as the United States and India work together to combat climate change and other global challenges. Both parties also leveraged the meeting to celebrate the conclusion of a Strategic Framework for Human Spaceflight Cooperation to deepen interoperability in space and work toward commencing advanced training for ISRO astronauts at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

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