Buoyed by the success of India’s Chandrayaan-3 lunar landing, Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a G20 satellite mission for environment and climate observation at the G20 Summit. The PM made the suggestion in the presence of world leaders, including US President Joe Biden, UK PM Rishi Sunak, and South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa. The proposed satellite programme aims to benefit countries in the Global South.
Modi emphasized that the data obtained from India’s Moon Mission would be beneficial for all of humanity. With this spirit in mind, the PM invited G20 countries to join the ‘G20 Satellite Mission for Environment and Climate Observation’. The climate and weather data collected through this mission would be shared with all countries, particularly those in the Global South.
India has a track record of launching satellites for the benefit of neighboring countries. In 2017, India launched the Saarc Satellite to provide crucial information on telemedicine, tele-education, banking, and television broadcasting to its South Asian neighbors. Additionally, India is working closely with the US on the NASA-ISRO satellite (NISAR), which will map the entire globe and provide consistent data on various aspects of the Earth’s ecosystems, including vegetation biomass, sea level rise, and natural hazards.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi and President Biden discussed space cooperation during the G20 Summit. They committed to working together on human space flight missions, protecting space assets, and planning a joint effort to send astronauts to the International Space Station by 2024. The discussions between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and NASA are underway to finalize a strategic framework for human space flight cooperation by the end of 2023. The joint statement highlighted the intent to increase coordination on planetary defense to protect the Earth and space assets from asteroids and near-Earth objects.
India’s proposal for the G20 Satellite Mission for Environment and Climate Observation showcases its commitment to utilizing space technology for global benefit. By sharing climate and weather data, India aims to support countries in addressing environmental challenges and fostering cooperation among G20 nations.