NASA and ISRO in talks to Set up Joint Mars Working Group

NASA and ISRO in talks to Set up Joint Mars Working Group

According to a top US space official, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) are planning to set up a combined Mars Working Group. The statement has come ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the US.

Science Mission Directorate of NASA, James Green, said United States government agency is in talks with ISRO regarding Joint Mars Working Group, as ISRO’s Mars orbiter will arrive at the Red Planet about two days after NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter.

Green said that ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission includes five science instruments that will study Martian surface features, atmosphere and mineralogy. Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) will explore Red Planet’s upper atmosphere, interaction with sun, ionosphere and solar wind, he added.

MAVEN’s data will be used to determine the purpose of loss of volatiles from the Mars atmosphere. Also, it will give insight into Mars atmosphere and climate’s history, Green said.

According to Green, with Joint Mars Working Group, NASA and ISRO scientists will get significant information about Mars atmosphere and surface.

Green said that NASA and ISRO are planning to set up Joint Mars Working Group, and State Department's US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group is supporting the effort. It would co-ordinate with both NASA and ISRO to study Mars.

Planetary Society & Professor at Arizona State University’s James F. Bell said that NASA is the most capable and successful space agency. Bell also said that when United States space agency doesn’t prioritize planetary science, other agencies are not able to fill the gap.

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