ISRO in Talks With Boeing, Blue Origin, Voyager For Space Partnerships
ISRO is exploring joint collaborations with Boeing, Jeff Bezos’s Blue Origin and Voyager, as an official visit by the head of NASA highlights the growing cooperation between the US and India.
India's space agency ISRO is exploring joint collaborations with Boeing Co., Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin LLC and Voyager Space Holdings Inc., as an official visit by the head of NASA highlights the growing level of cooperation between the US and India in outer space.
The potential partnerships could also involve Indian commercial entities, India's Department of Space said in a statement Wednesday.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson is visiting several locations in India this week, including Bengaluru-based facilities that are testing and integrating spacecraft for a joint US-Indian Earth-observing mission scheduled for launch in 2024.
Nelson's visit underscores NASA's deepening space alliance with the Indian Space Research Organization, which this year notched several accomplishments including the landing of a spacecraft near the moon's south pole in August.
The two space agencies are planning to send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station next year. In June, Nelson joined a ceremony in Washington when India signed the Artemis Accords, a US-backed initiative with more than two dozen other countries to establish principles for space exploration.
Blue Origin is “very keen” on considering using an Indian rocket as a crew capsule to service its proposed space station Orbital Reef in low-Earth orbit, ISRO Chairman S. Somanath told The Times of India in June. Larsen & Toubro Ltd., an Indian manufacturer of engineering equipment, is in early discussions with Blue Origin to supply orbital launch capabilities, according to local media.
Denver-based Voyager in July announced a preliminary agreement with ISRO's commercial arm, NewSpace India Ltd., to explore using Indian rockets to launch and deploy small satellites.
Voyager in July also signed a memorandum of understanding with ISRO and the Indian National Space Promotion and Authorization Center regarding the use of Gaganyaan, the space agency's crewed spacecraft now under development, to service a proposed space station, Starlab.
Boeing is considering designing and manufacturing of a space capsule simulator for India's human spaceflight project but hasn't signed a contract yet, according to local media.
India's upcoming projects include its first launch of astronauts on a crewed mission, scheduled for 2025.
To boost its lunar ambitions, the country plans to develop a next-generation launch vehicle and a new launchpad, with the goal of landing people on the moon by 2040.
ISRO's to-do list also includes establishing a space station by 2035, launching a Venus orbiter and landing on Mars.