US hoping to become 'close partner' of India in space exploration

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New York, Jan.28 (ANI): A senior official of the Obama administration has said that United States is hoping to become 'close partner' of India in space exploration.

The removal of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) from the Commerce Department's Entity List is an indication that Washington will no longer treat India's space program as a target, but as a close partner in space exploration, said Robert O. Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs.

Addressing a gathering at the Syracruse University earlier this week, Blake said that the possibilities of cooperation between the United States and India in space, to advance scientific knowledge and human welfare, are without boundaries and limits.

Paraphrasing former ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair words that India's space program can only be successful when it can produce benefits - material change-for Indian citizens, Blake said: "Indian farmers will see the fruits of our collaboration as U.S. and Indian space scientists work together on climate and weather forecasting for agriculture, navigation, resource mapping, research and development, and capacity building."

"Our experts have developed enhanced monsoon forecasting that will begin to transmit detailed forecasts to farmers, beginning with the 2011 monsoon season. India also is an emerging leader in earth observation, with the second highest number of earth observation satellites in orbit. American fishing fleets could increase their catch thanks to the collection of tidal data as part of this initiative," he added.

"We are seeking additional ways to collaborate on future lunar missions, the international space station, human space flight, and data sharing. I hope that our private sectors will now have the opportunity to develop new avenues of cooperation in the space realm and build on our achievements to further improve the livelihoods of our populations, Blake said. (ANI)

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