India could come on board the International Space Station (ISS)

Posted: March 7, 2015 in Semco Group
India could be offered the opportunity to conduct research on the International Space Station (ISS), as the India-US space relationship evolves.

NEW DELHI: India could be offered the opportunity to conduct research on the International Space Station (ISS), as the India-US space relationship evolves. Frank Rose, US assistant secretary for arms control, verification and compliance said on Thursday, India and the US should identify areas of deeper cooperation, adding the US was working on a comprehensive strategy to deal with new space capabilities that could be threatening. “This first dialogue will help us develop a framework for serious practical cooperation. “And, also, how we can more effectively (work) together in multi-lateral forums,” Rose said.

Addressing a think tank in New Delhi, Observer Research Foundation, Rose said as two premier space-faring nations, India and US could explore the possibility of utilization of space assets for maritime domain awareness, which would be a new dimension for India as it puts in place the elements of a blue water navy. “There are a number of things that the US is interested in (when it comes to) collaborating with India. For example, maritime domain awareness and improving space situational awareness capability”, he said.

Rose however, expressed concern over China developing “disruptive and destructive” counter-space capabilities, which includes both “hard kill” capabilities that was demonstrated by its anti-satellite test in 2007, but also growing space jamming capabilities, which would effect denial of service of US or other satellites.

Giving the example of the cold war, Rose said both the US and erstwhile USSR had started on the path of anti-satellite (ASAT) capabilities. But given the “intricate” connection with nuclear deterrence, both countries stepped back. If they had engaged in ASAT development then which could have seen a nuclear explosion in space, it would have spelt the end of manned space missions, or space walks by astronauts since the radiation levels would have rendered it impossible.

He said the US was engaged in a deep conversation with China on similar lines. Of course, the space domain is more crowded today, with more countries, including India, becoming capable players in outer space. A related problem is the issue of space debris – China’s 2007 ASAT test produced 36,000 pieces of space debris, many of whom have later threatened China’s own satellites. The US, he said, had alerted China to dangers “hundreds of times”.

Source : Defence News
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