NISAR mission: NASA, ISRO begin work on joint project; on course for 2021 launch
The US and the Indian space agencies have started work on their joint project, the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR, mission, confirmed a senior official with the US space agency, adding that it was on course for a 2021 launch from India onboard a GSLV.
The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar, or NISAR, satellite will provide an unprecedented detailed view of Earth by using advanced radar imaging.
The satellite is designed to observe and take measurements of some of the earth's most complex processes, including ecosystem disturbances, ice-sheet collapse, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and landslides.
Under the terms of the agreement, the NISAR satellite would have US-made L-band radar and S-band by ISRO.
“We started putting hardware together and working with Isro on various components that it is building. L-band will be shipped here for integration. We have also started building all those components that will make the spacecraft,” General Larry D James, Deputy Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) of NASA, said on Tuesday.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event in Chennai, he said that they have reviewed the design for the spacecraft and have started building the hardware.
Data collected from NISAR will reveal information about the evolution and state of Earth's crust, help scientists better understand our planet's processes and changing climate, and aid future resource and hazard management.
James added that the US space agency is also keen on partnering with ISRO on its future Mars orbiter missions, adding that NASA would like to put a payload If India plans another mission to Mars.
He further revealed about NASA's plans to build a next generation telescope that will observe exoplanets and search for evidence of life, including those identified by Nasa's Kepler space telescope.
On Monday, NASA released a mission catalog of planet candidates that introduces 219 new planet candidates, 10 of which are near-Earth size and orbiting in their star's habitable zone.
With the latest release, Kepler has detected a total of 4,034 planet candidates, of which 2,335 have been verified as exoplanets. Also, of roughly 50 near-Earth size habitable zone candidates detected by Kepler, more than 30 have been verified.