Following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official state visit last month, India and the United States issued a joint statement stating, among other things, the collaborations the two countries intend to pursue, particularly in national scientific activities.

One of the points of action read: “the leaders celebrated the delivery of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite to ISRO’s U.R. Rao Satellite Centre in Bengaluru, India, and looked forward to NISAR’s 2024 launch from India.”

The NISAR satellite will map the Earth’s physical characteristics, water bodies, and ice sheets, as well as study natural disasters such as volcanism and landslides, using radar.

It will be launched from India and will carry two synthetic aperture radar systems, one from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States and the other from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

Once launched, the satellite will most likely be one of the most powerful Earth observation spacecraft ever built, as well as one of the most expensive earth-imaging satellites ever built.

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