ssa: Quad profit: Modi, Biden cement plan to jointly monitor space objects | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India and the US have concretised a plan to increase their partnership within the space sector by deciding to work on an settlement on space situational consciousness (SSA) through the first in-individual bilateral assembly between PM Narendra Modi and US President Joe Biden not too long ago on the sidelines of the Quad summit.
Though Isro and Nasa have been cooperating on separate missions like artificial aperture radar satellite tv for pc NISAR challenge and Chandrayaan-1, that is the primary time each the international locations have determined to jointly work on a framework for SSA, which includes monitoring space objects each pure like meteors and man-made akin to satellites. SSA includes collating knowledge on orbiting satellites, rocket elements and space particles and monitoring threats to a rustic’s space belongings from any hostile satellite tv for pc and analysing such knowledge to convert them into actionable info to cope with such threats.
The Indo-US joint assertion issued in Washington highlighted plans to finalise “a space situational awareness MoU that will help in sharing of data and services towards ensuring the long-term sustainability of outer space activities by the end of the year”. The MoU plan superior as “India has developed significant space capabilities over the decades and is a deeply invested party. The US has recognised that it can’t unilaterally define the space order anymore and is looking for partners,” mentioned the MEA quoting from the assertion.
Expressing happiness on the proposed SSA pact, Isro chairman Ok Sivan informed TOI, “Once the MoU is signed, it will help us acquire accurate space data and give a boost to our exercise to safeguard India’s space assets and execute satellite collision avoidance missions in an optimum way.” He mentioned India’s infrastructure arrange for SSA actions just like the SSA Control Centre (NETRA challenge) is “not sufficient enough to protect our satellites from space debris. NETRA, once fully active, will become part of the global information-sharing network but we need data from other agencies to accurately monitor our satellites all the time. Space has become crowded therefore info-sharing is vital”.
The Isro chairman mentioned “there are three ways of handling space debris: First, whenever space debris is in close proximity of our satellites, a collision avoidance manoeuvre is done. Second, the space debris removal drive can be launched in which some countries are already engaged and third one is a mitigation plan to reduce debris by bringing dead satellites into the Earth’s atmosphere and burning them down. But all these three processes can’t be done in isolation and need assistance from other agencies”.
Former Isro chief A S Kiran Kumar informed TOI, “More and more players are putting objects in space and therefore the (satellite) numbers have started increasing significantly. As a result, countries require better space traffic management and debris mitigation systems for which SSA, which has a wider definition (has both strategic and non-strategic significance), is very much needed. The proposed MoU is a good development and will august well for the global community.”
Air Marshal Vivek Ram Chaudhari, who is set to take over as IAF chief next month, recently said India does not have indigenous capability to observe, track and identify non-cooperative objects in outer space. “This not only restricts our defensive counter-space capabilities but also limits our anti-satellite capability in future. Therefore, SSA is the need of the hour and we should be able to know hostile manoeuvres by adversaries’ space objects.”
Elaborating on hostile satellites, defence professional and former DRDO scientist Ravi Kumar told TOI that “SSA involves not only monitoring our space assets but also keeping a watch on hostile satellites. It is believed that some developed countries possess sophisticated satellites that contain drone-like micro satellites, which can be used in space to target the rival’s space assets. Therefore, awareness about the rival’s or enemy’s space assets is key. The proposed agreement will be mutually beneficial for both India and the US.”
Globally, more than 80 countries have launched a satellite into orbit compared to only 15 in the early 1980s. India, which has launched nearly 120 satellites since the first liftoff of Aryabhatta satellite in 1975, has around 50 active satellites in space.
As of 2019, more than 128 million pieces of space debris smaller than 1 cm (0.4 in), 900,000 pieces of debris 1–10 cm, and around 34,000 pieces larger than 10 cm (3.9 in) were estimated to be in orbit. There are approximately 23,000 pieces of debris larger than a softball orbiting the Earth. The US department of defence’s global Space Surveillance Network (SSN) monitors around 27,000 pieces of such debris.

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