ISRO to train 45 nations in building nanosatellites in a space diplomacy mission

The first session of ISRO's UNNATI program was inaugurated last week on 17 January.


The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is all set to begin a new capacity-building initiative to train 45 countries in making nano-satellites, as part of India’s efforts in Space Diplomacy.

Among the countries participating in the Unispace Nanosatellite Assembly and Training by ISRO (UNNATI) program, the first batch will bring in 30 delegates from 17 countries — Algeria, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Oman, Panama and Portugal.

ISRO to train 45 nations in building nanosatellites in a space diplomacy mission

ISRO Chairman, Dr K Sivan addressing a press conference on issues related to Department of Space in New Delhi on 28 August, 2018. Image: Department of Space

UNNATI is one of ISRO's key initiatives commemorating 50 years since the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50) in 1968, according to a statement.

ISRO plans to use the opportunity to share its expertise in the space sector with other nations that can benefit from it, chairman K Sivan told delegates and ISRO officials at a gathering in the U R Rao Satellite Centre (URSC), according to a Mumbai Mirror report.

URSC, ISRO's hub for building and developing its satellite technology, will host all three batches of the UNNATI program. That totals ninety participants from the 45 countries that have signed up. The first session of UNNATI was inaugurated last week on 17 January.

A new variant of the PSLV will be used to launch the nanosatellite from Sriharikota. Image courtesy: ISRO

A new variant of the PSLV will be used to launch the nanosatellite from Sriharikota. Image courtesy: ISRO

Nano-satellites are one of the most promising space technologies, largely because they are simple, compact and inexpensive. They weigh up to 10 kg and will be the focus of ISRO's UNNATI training program.

The program will include a bit of both, theoretical and hands-on training in the many stages of nanosatellite-making, like assembly, integration and testing.

UNNATI is one of two new outreach missions that ISRO has taken on starting this year.

Samwad with Students (SwS) is another one of ISRO's new outreach initiatives, where the chairman interacts with students about opportunities and plans for ISRO and India in space. After the first edition of the interaction was a raging hit, a second was planned for late January with students in Cochin.