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Australia eager to be part of strategic partner, India’s space journey

India is a top-tier strategic partner and Australia is now eager to be part of the fast-developing South Asian nation’s space journey, Australian High Commissioner to India Philip Green OAM said on Wednesday. Space Machines, an Australian firm, entered into a $18 million pact with NewSpace India Limited (NSIL), the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

This partnership will involve deploying a satellite inspection and observation payload aboard ISRO’s Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLV) in 2026.

Rajat Kulshrestha, co-founder of Space Machines, said this will be the largest satellite launched by Australia to date.

“We now describe India as a top-tier strategic partner, along with the US, the UK, and Japan. For us, India is now in that very elite group. We have a specific partnership with India, to which we are devoting $18 million to support collaborations between Australian and Indian space firms,” Green said during the inaugural session of India Space Congress 2024 in New Delhi.

This mission will mark a defining moment for both nations in the area of space collaboration, the Australian High Commissioner said.

“We all have come here with a hunger to be part of India’s space journey. India is a large subcontinent, but it is only a third of the size of Australia. You are the most populous nation on Earth, with 50 times the number of people in Australia. That difference drives complementarity.

“Because of our large landmass and small population, we have some of the darkest skies in the world, which is a significant advantage in space. Our tracking stations, particularly in Perth and Canberra, were privileged to be the first to receive signals from Chandrayan’s successful moon landing last year,” he said.

Green said Australia’s geographic location allows it to host launch sites, including one near the equatorial sweet spot.

In addition to our unique territory, we possess skills and competencies built on deep scientific capability in areas such as robotics, composite materials, and earth observation, he said. NDTV

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