Australia, the Netherlands look to scale up space cooperation with India
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Bengaluru: Top officials from Australia and the Netherlands discussed potential opportunities to strengthen space cooperation with Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Chairman S Somanath.

Head of Australian Space Agency (ASA) Enrico Palermo and Ambassador of the Netherlands to India, Bhutan and Nepal Marten van den Berg visited ISRO headquarters here on Tuesday.

Australia’s active support in establishing a temporary ground station in Cocos (Keeling) Island for India’s ‘Gaganyaan’ missions, potential opportunities for cooperation in earth observation, satellite navigation, space situational awareness, and weather and climate studies using satellite data were the highlights of the discussion, according to ISRO.

In a separate meeting between the Dutch ambassador and ISRO Chairman, apart from the ongoing interactions for cooperation in remote sensing applications focussed on air pollution and water management, potential opportunities for cooperation in space-based astronomy were discussed.

“Avenues for enhancing the interaction among Indian and Dutch industries and academic institutes were also discussed,” an ISRO statement said.

Palermo and Van den Berg also addressed the three-day 7th ‘Bengaluru Space Expo 2022’, an international conference and exhibition, which concluded on Wednesday.

Highlighting the strong commercial links in space between Australia and India, six separate Australia-India space industry memorandums were exchanged at the inauguration of the summit.

“Australia continues to look at new ways to enhance our space collaboration with India,” Palermo said.

“The establishment of a Consulate-General in Bengaluru from 2023 will allow us to further develop the space relationship,” he added.

Somanath, also Secretary in the Department of Space, said: “They (Australia) were able to attract (Indian) start-ups to work together. This shows that Australia is also open to launching our satellites from their land sometimes, and vice versa.”

Palermo and his delegation also visited ISRO’s Human Space Flight Centre (HSFC), and the satellite integration and testing facilities of U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC) here.

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