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India ready to help Oman in space research programme: ISRO

22 Jan 2023 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

Bengaluru – The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), which has the world’s largest constellation of remote-sensing satellites and has sent two missions to the Moon and one to the Mars, is ready to help Oman in its space research programme.

A memorandum of understanding between Oman and India in 2018 on cooperation in the peaceful use of outer space, which the Indian Cabinet later approved, opened the doors for Oman to take help of ISRO.

“The MoU is for cooperation in the areas such as space science, technology and applications including the remote sensing of the earth, satellite-based navigation, planetary exploration, and use of spacecraft, and space and ground systems,” Dr D Gowrisankar, director, Office of International and Interagency Cooperation, ISRO, said.

He added that the MoU provides impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities. “Recently a delegation from Oman visited ISRO and expressed its interest in having a collaboration to build its space programme. In May 2016, Oman conveyed its interest to cooperate on space data centre in Oman with ISRO.

We have given our proposal on that which involves setting up of data antenna,” Dr Gowrisankar told Muscat Daily during the visit of Arab journalists to ISRO headquarters in Bengaluru.

“Working with Oman can boost ISRO’s own credentials. We have received grants from the government to launch 40 more rockets in the next four years to boost satellite communication,” he added.

Alongside its technological advancement, ISRO contributes to science and science education in the country. Various dedicated research centres and autonomous institutions for remote sensing, astronomy and astrophysics, atmospheric sciences and space sciences in general function under the aegis of Department of Space.

ISRO’s own lunar and interplanetary missions along with other scientific projects encourage and promote science education, apart from providing valuable data to the scientific community which in turn enriches science.

Corresponding with Oman Vision 2040, Oman is exploring its options in space research as well as has ambitions to launch a satellite soon.

Oman recently entered into an agreement with the National Aerospace Services Company (NASCOM) to use its space launch complex Etlaq for multiple rocket launches, utilising the latitude efficient location in Duqm.

Etlaq space launch complex is a project, which NASCOM began last year as the company felt the need for having a facility for testing their prototype hybrid-solid rockets in a safe area that could be used for future launches.

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