Narendra Modi, Joe Biden, White House
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Modi with Biden at the White House on Thursday (June 22).

Modi in US: India to send astronaut to International Space Station in 2024, joins Artemis Accords

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India and the US are collaborating to send an Indian astronaut to the international space station in 2024, US President Joe Biden said in Washington on Thursday (June 22) after a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Addressing the media after bilateral talks with Modi, Biden said India and the US were collaborating in nearly every human endeavour in delivering progress across the board.

“From designing new ways to diagnosing and treating new illnesses like cancer and diabetes to collaboration on human space flight, including on sending an Indian astronaut to the international space station in 2024,” Biden said with Modi by his side.

Also read: PM Modi at White House: ‘Strong people-to-people real engine of Indo-US ties’

Modi also said that India has decided to sign the Artemis Accords and taken a great leap forward.

“We have decided to join the Artemis Accords. We have taken a giant leap in our space cooperation. In short, I would say even the sky is not the limit for cooperation with the US,” Modi said.

Grounded in the Outer Space Treaty of 1967 (OST), the Artemis Accords are a non-binding set of principles designed to guide civil space exploration and use in the 21st century. It is an American-led effort to return humans to the moon by 2025, with the ultimate goal of expanding space exploration to Mars and beyond.

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India is planning to send its maiden human space flight Gaganyaan into a low earth orbit by the end of 2024 or early 2025.

If an Indian astronaut travels to the international space station, it could be before the Gaganyaan project.

Earlier, a senior White House official said that NASA and the ISRO were developing a strategic framework for human spaceflight cooperation this year.

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On semiconductors, US companies are partnering with India to build a semiconductor ecosystem that promotes supply chain diversification.

Micron Technology with support from the Indian National Semiconductor Mission announced an investment of more than USD 800 million that together with additional financial support from Indian authorities will amount to a USD 2.75 billion semiconductor assembly and test facility in India.

In addition, US Applied Materials announced the new semiconductor centre for commercialisation and innovation in India and Lamb Research, another semiconductor manufacturing equipment company is going to announce a training programme for 60,000

Indian engineers through its semi-verse solution to accelerate India’s semiconductor workforce development goals.

On critical minerals and mineral security, the United States will announce its support for India becoming a member of the Mineral Security Partnership which is led by the US State Department and strengthens critical minerals supply chain and ensures that our respective markets are well supplied with essential critical minerals that are needed for climate, economic and strategic technology goals, the official said.

On advanced computing, artificial intelligence and quantum information science, India and the United States have first established a joint Indo-US quantum coordination mechanism that will facilitate more collaboration between our industries, academia, and government, said the official.

They have also signed a new implementation arrangement on artificial intelligence advanced wireless and quantum technologies. The US on an Economic Development Consortium is now welcoming into its membership, Indian Quantum universities and entities as well.

In advanced telecommunications, the two countries are working together on 5G and 6G technologies, including Open Radio Access Network (RAN) systems.

“Here well be announcing partnerships on open ran, field trials and rollouts, including scale deployments in both countries with operators and vendors of both markets. This will involve backing from the US International Development Finance, for cooperation and to promote the deployments in India,” the official said.

India’s 5G and 6G and the US Next G alliance will be leading a new public-private Cooperation forum as well. The US will also be welcoming Indian participation in the US rip and replace programme that removes telecommunications equipment made by untrusted vendors.

On people-to-people ties and higher education, leveraging the enormous talent, particularly in STEM (Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) fields in both countries and coming out of a task force chaired by the Association of American Universities and counterparts at the Indian Institute of Technologies would like to welcome the launch for the university network with Indo US global challenges to federal Spark, new research partnerships and exchanges in fields including agriculture, energy and health, said the official.

(With agency inputs)

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