NASA-ISRO collaboration good for SMEs


Elisha Pulivarty

Elisha Pulivarti from Washington DC

Thanks to the collaboration between NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Agency) of of the US and ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation), a tremendous window of opportunities are unfolding for SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) of the two countries.  Hitherto covered areas of ventures that serve hitherto unexplored sectors are going to come before us.

India joining Artemis Accords, a NASA initiative is a major decision in the bilateral relations between America and Inda. An agreement on Artemis Accords has been signed. With this, India’s ISRO will have unlimited access to NASA’s vast space expertise and knowledge. We should not forget it is America’s Apollo 11 that sent two human beings in mankind history to Moon on July 16, 1969.


Indian astronaut at ISS

As per the agreement, NASA will train two India astronauts and one of them will be sent to ISS (International Space Station) sometime in 2024. ISS is a low earth orbit space module that rotates around Earth at an average height of 403 km in space. So far, no Indian has ever been there. Now that India wants to become global power, it is apt that ISRO collaborates with NASA for the project.

Already a team of NASA officials are in India this week to discuss details of selecting two Indians for the mission. These are preliminary discussions. NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will visit India in the first week of November this year to seal the deal. We are all waiting for who that fortunate and historical Indian would be. This will be a beginning of a long journey of India into space or outer space.


Commercial doors open

Not just for landmark events, NASA-ISRO collaboration will pave way for commercial opportunities for thousands of companies in both the countries. Already, there are 120 registered space related companies in India. Thanks to India’s open space policy announced this year, some more ventures too enter the field. Bill Nelson’s visit to India will offer us more details.

At present, NASA and ISRO are going to launch a space radar – NASA-ISRO Aperture Radar or NISAR in January 2024. This will be launched from Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. And this is the most expensive project of ISRO –  1.5 billion US dllars (Rs 13,000 crore), to be borne jointly by the US and India. This NISAR will orbit around the earth and take up the detailed mapping of the planet.

Scores of companies can take services of these mappings and offer to them to various other firms that need them. For Indian and US SMEs there is a big business scope. In fact, India has a house of talent and skilled manpower and this can be put to use to scale the NISAR mappings. As of now, global space industry is of 480 billion US dollars and India commands only 2 per cent of it while the US takes more than 58 per cent. 

Now, India can scale up its share. Don’t forget, SMEs of both the countries have opportunity waiting for them here.


(Elisha Pulivarti is CEO of The  US India SME Council and this article is part of a series in the run up to the council’s 20th anniversary and Incredible Inc 50 awards event in Maryland on August 10, Thursday).



Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Next Post

KCR issues orders for farmers loan waiver from August 3

Wed Aug 2 , 2023
Rama Krishna Sangem In a major decision that will have far reaching political consequences, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao decided to resume the farmer […]

You May Like

Chief Editor

Rama Krishna Sangem

Excel India national news magazine is a media startup founded and piloted by Rama Krishna Sangem, a Hyderabad based senior journalist with over three decade experience in the field of media, mostly in print journalism. His rich experience in reporting for both Telugu and English newspapers and heading a TV news channel and some online outfits will be of immense use to this venture. Excel India English news magazine seeks to fill the gap of analytical understanding to our readers who today are confronted with myriad media platforms. Our online version not only offers regular updates and commentary on happenings around us, but also gives larger stories not limited by space constraints of a print magazine. Excel India is ably run by a team of senior journalists committed to values and quality standards in the profession. We urge you all to support and guide us in this endeavour. Reach us at