NISAR mission: India-US partnership to help optimize world’s natural resources

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Noting the importance of a joint Earth-observing mission between NASA and ISRO, the US State Department on Thursday said the steller partnership between the two countries will help optimize management of the world’s natural resources and enhance disaster preparedness.

“Thrilled with NASA and ISRO collaborating on satellites. This stellar US-India partnership will help optimize the management of the world’s natural resources and enhance disaster preparedness. India recently shipped critical components to the US to support the NISAR mission,” said Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, US State Department.

NISAR is a joint Earth-observing mission between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) to make global measurements of the causes and consequences of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging.

While NASA is also providing the radar reflector antenna, the deployable boom, a high-rate communication subsystem for science data, GPS receivers, a solid-state recorder, and payload data subsystem, ISRO is
providing the spacecraft bus, the S-band SAR, the launch vehicle, and associated launch services and satellite mission operations.

An SUV-size Earth satellite that will be equipped with the largest reflector antenna ever is taking shape in the cleanroom at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

“By tracking subtle changes in Earth’s surface, it will spot warning signs of imminent volcanic eruptions, help to monitor groundwater supplies, track the melt rate of ice sheets tied to sea-level rise, and observe shifts in the distribution of vegetation around the world,” according to NASA.

NISAR will detect movements of the planet’s surface as small as 0.4 inches (a centimeter) over areas about the size of half a tennis court. Launching no earlier than 2022, the satellite will scan the entire globe every 12 days throughout its three-year primary mission, imaging the Earth’s land, ice sheets, and sea ice on every orbit, NASA said.

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