NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — NASA and ISRO are set to collaborate on sending an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station (ISS). NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on an official visit to India confirmed the news following discussions between Prime Minister Modi and President Biden.

ISRO Chief S. Somanath emphasized the importance of the program, noting that NASA is actively working on this endeavor. The collaboration symbolizes a milestone in space exploration cooperation between India and the United States. The selected Indian astronaut, to be chosen by ISRO, will undergo comprehensive training at US facilities, marking a crucial step toward bolstering India’s capabilities in manned space missions.

Expected to be ready for launch by the end of 2024, this mission will mark the first time an Indian has traveled to space since 1984. Alongside this initiative, both space agencies are gearing up for the launch of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite in early 2024. The NISAR satellite aims to provide crucial data for understanding changes in Earth’s ecosystems, climate, and natural resource management.

In a separate announcement, Bill Nelson shared that NASA will train the Indian astronaut for an ISS mission, showcasing the deepening space ties between the two countries. The collaboration goes beyond individual spaceflights, as both agencies are exploring joint ventures in areas such as radiation impact studies, micro-meteorite analysis, orbital debris shield studies, and space health and medicine aspects.

The growing partnership underscores India’s rising prominence in space exploration. Nelson praised India as a “great future partner for astronauts in space,” and the collaboration is expected to extend further, including discussions on India’s ambition to establish its own Space Station by 2035.