India is being hailed globally to for having become the first country to successfully land a spacecraft on the South Pole of the moon. During his visit to India, Bill Nelson, the Administrator of NASA, congratulated India for accomplishing a feat that no other nation has achieved through the Chandrayaan-3 mission. He acknowledged India’s significant contribution to lunar exploration, emphasizing the nation’s success where others have faced challenges.
What did NASA chief Bill Nelson say?
Speaking to news agency ANI, Nelson praised India’s lunar exploration milestone, stating, “You deserve every bit of praise for this accomplishment. It’s very significant.” The successful moon landing marks a pivotal moment in space exploration, showcasing India’s capabilities in advancing space technology.
Nelson further discussed the collaborative efforts between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in the NISAR mission.
The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) mission is a joint endeavor aimed at observing Earth’s changing ecosystems, dynamic surfaces, and ice masses. This collaborative mission seeks to provide crucial information about biomass, natural hazards, sea level rise, and groundwater, ultimately contributing to the understanding of climate change.
Highlighting the significance of the NISAR mission, Nelson explained, “We will have a complete 3D composite model of what is exactly happening to the Earth.” The mission, scheduled for launch in 2024, will utilize the expertise of both agencies. NASA will provide the L-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) payload system, while ISRO will contribute the S-Band SAR payload. The mission’s primary objective is to measure Earth’s changing landscapes on a global scale, observing land and ice-covered surfaces with remarkable regularity.
NISAR will play a crucial role in monitoring alterations in Earth’s forest and wetland ecosystems, contributing valuable data to understand their impact on the global carbon cycle. The mission’s capabilities include observing changes in water, land, and ice surfaces, providing essential insights for researchers and policymakers alike.
Bill Nelson also shared details about the NISAR mission’s timeline, mentioning that it is scheduled to launch in the first part of the coming year. The spacecraft, a joint effort between NASA and ISRO, is currently being prepared in Bangalore at ISRO’s facilities.
During his visit to India, Nelson engaged in strategic discussions and events aimed at enhancing collaboration between NASA and ISRO. Nelson also met with Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to fly to space. He excitedly shared on X platform, : “It was a great honor to speak with students in Bengaluru today with Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian to fly to space. His story lit up the room! To the Artemis Generation in India and beyond: Work hard, dream big, and reach for the stars. The universe is the limit!”