Washington: India's first Mars Orbit mission this year offers an exciting opportunity for the collaboration between the two countries in this field, a senior US official has said. "We should seek to increase our commercial space cooperation and create opportunities for US and Indian companies and our very capable space science communities have much to offer each other through collaboration," said Geoffrey Pyatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.
"India's first Mars Orbiter Mission, slated for October 2013, is an exciting opportunity for US-India collaboration," he said in his address to the US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group being held in Washington on Thursday. The working group among others was attended by the NASA Administrator, John Bolden, and the Indian Ambassador to the US, Nirupama Rao. Noting that the US-India science and technology builds on a relationship that is robust and vibrant, Bolden said the US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund, established in 2009 and with an annual budget of USD 2-3 million, is a landmark in our belief to work together to promote commercialisation of innovative technologies.
This collaboration on innovation across a wide range of disciplines is generating new jobs for our people and helping to address many of the globe's big challenges, he said. "The hard work on both sides in transforming our interactions with each other has allowed successes such as including US instruments on India's Chandrayaan-1 lunar mission -- a path-finding step to show our two systems how to work together, as well as a fruitful scientific endeavour pointing out the promise of this cooperation," Pyatt said. "More recently, the removal of ISRO subordinate entities from the Entity List at the 2011 Civil Space Joint Working Group meeting and additional measures taken since have further expanded the possibilities for trade and cooperation in civil space," he added.
Pyatt said the India-US space cooperation has become a signature aspect of this science, technology, and innovation cooperation, highlighting both the constancy of their mutual respect and appreciation for each other's capabilities through the decades, as well as the vast potential.