Narendra Modi's Israel visit: Two countries to deepen cooperation in space technologies

Jerusalem: India and Israel will sign agreements to deepen cooperation on the state-of-the-art technologies in the space sector during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit here, a top Israeli official has said.

Describing Indian space satellite launchers as "reliable", Israel Space Agency Director General Avi Blasberger has said that his country would look to send more satellites aboard Indian launchers in the future.

 Narendra Modis Israel visit: Two countries to deepen cooperation in space technologies

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

"We are going to sign some implementation agreements. Actually we have an agreement between Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Israel Space Agency (ISA), a cooperation agreement, and these agreements that we are going to sign during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi are implementation agreements which will be added to the main agreement," Israel Space Agency director general Avi Blasberger told PTI.

"The main agreement is a kind of an umbrella agreement that allows us to do any operation which we like. However, it is not a specific one," he emphasised. "These are state-of-the-art technologies on which we are going to cooperate with the India Space Research Organisation," he said.

Asked about the strengths of ISRO that Israel would look to tap in the future, he said, "we can use, something which we have done in the past and also at the beginning of this year".

"We can use the launching capacity of India to launch Israeli satellites and we can do joint programmes," Blasberger said.

"Indian launchers are first of all available and then they are very reliable. The past experience shows that all the launches from India were successful which means that they are reliable launchers," he said.

The ISA director general accompanied Israel's minister of science and technology Ofir Akunis to New Delhi in December. The two countries have since then working to enhance cooperation on certain specific projects.

The director of Space Application Centre in Ahmedabad visited Israel earlier this year to work out further details of cooperation.

On that we are talking since the visit of the minister of science and myself to India last December, exploring with ISRO areas in which we can cooperate. Actually, there was also a visit of the head of Satellite Application Centre (SAC) to Israel last February in Ahmedabad.

"We have been working quite continuously since last December to explore the possibilities of cooperation. Currently, during the visit of Modi there will be signatures on some of the implementation agreements," Blasberger said.

Modi's three-day visit beginning on Tuesday is aimed at commemorating 25 years of establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and will also see discussions between him and his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to explore ways to enhance cooperation in key strategic areas. The two sides are also expected to sign number of agreements in the field of innovation, development, science and technology.

The ISRO has carried out around 84 spacecraft missions, 59 launch missions and planned several other missions including Chandrayaan-2, and Aditya (spacecraft). Some of the major satellite launches by ISRO include the launch of PSLV-C37 rocket on 15 February with a record-setting 104 satellites on board the craft.

India also launched the cheapest mission to Mars, named Mangalyaan. The ISRO also launched on 15 February CartoSat-2D, which is fifth in the series of CartoSat-2 remote-sensing satellites that capture and send panchromatic and multi-spectral images of India from space.

India on 7 December last year launched its PSLV C36 Resource Sat-2A at around 10.25 am from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre located in Sriharikota. It was ISRO's 38th flight of the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) and was intended to continue the remote sensing data services to users across the globe.

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Updated Date: Jul 03, 2017 20:00:21 IST