Gaganyaan: Isro now in talks with NASA for key tech

The Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro), which has already tied up with multiple countries to get help with various facets of India’s first human spaceflight mission — Gaganyaan — is now in talks with the US’ NASA, examining if it can gain access to some critical technologies relating to astronaut safety.

“Given that Covid-19 has already affected the timeline of the mission, we are hoping to expedite it by accessing some technologies that are already ready. NASA and Isro had been exploring a long-term partnership for the human spaceflight programme, and this could be a start,” a source said.

TOI reported earlier this month that Ganganyaan may miss the August 2022 deadline set by Prime Minister Modi because of the pandemic.

Isro chairman K Sivan, while confirming that the agency has initiated talks with NASA, however, said that they were in a very nascent stage and no decision on whether or not there would be a partnership has been made.

“We will still be developing things ourselves, but we are looking at accessing some of the technologies, like green propulsion, life-support systems and so on, given the tight schedule. Nothing has fructified so far,” Sivan said.

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