ISS is photographed by Expedition 66 crew
The US takes a space deal with India to new heights with Artemis Accords membership. Reuters / ROSCOSMOS

In a major development in space science, the US government has signed a space cooperation treaty with the Indian government which will culminate in a joint space mission in 2024.

The Artemis Accord deal was signed during the recent state visit of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the USA. As part of the program, the US space research organisation, NASA and the Indian space research organisation, ISRO will jointly launch a space mission in which Indian astronauts trained by NASA will fly to the International Space Station, ISS.

27th member of the Artemis Accords

The Artemis Accords is a non-binding agreement of no financial commitments for international cooperation in the moon and Mars space exploration that has been signed by eight nations on October 13, 2020. Initiated by the US and signed by UAE, Luxembourg, Australia, Canada, Japan, Italy, the UK and the US it upholds the 1967 outer space treaty.

On June 21 India became the 27th signatory of the Artemis Accords when Indian Ambassador to the US Taranjit Singh Sandhu signed the deal at the InterContinental Hotel in Washington in the presence of NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

The treaty enhances civil exploration in outer space and helps in advancing the Artemis program.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson underlined why the Artemis Accords was important as it takes care of how we do space missions and what we do when we reach space destinations. He stressed transparency as a key point, saying that they look forward to supporting India and accomplishing goals together.

India, on the other hand, reiterated its commitment to space exploration, highlighting they are a responsible space power and that they want to use outer space in a peaceful and sustainable manner. India termed the Artemis Accords as "a partnership of global good", underlining it is for the betterment of humanity not just a pursuit of the unknown.

Breaking barriers in space cooperation

The Indian Minister of Science & Technology Department Jitendra Singh said that this treaty will break new grounds in space cooperation and it will take the bilateral relations of the two countries to new heights.

The Artemis Accord and joint Indo-US mission will provide the space sector of India a new momentum. The joint human space flight mission will take Indian astronauts to the International Space Station or ISS.

The Artemis Accord was drawn based on the shared vision and interests of the two countries. It is founded on strict principles and guidelines and upholds best practices in the sector, revealed the Indian minister.

Regarding the joint mission to the international space station, a plan is yet to be drawn and the two countries are working to develop a viable framework.

Indo-US space partnership

The US company Micron will be investing $800 million in semiconductor chip development in India which will be further supported by investments from the Indian government. Members of the Indian Quantum Industry have also been invited to take part in the US Quantum Consortium as a part of this deal.

Furthermore, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to launch a manned mission to the moon by 2025, and to accomplish this they will be collaborating with NASA.

As per the joint statement issued by the two countries President Biden and Prime Minister Modi have welcomed the NASA-ISRO joint plan to build a framework for human spaceflight by 2023 end. The two leaders hailed the iconic decision of NASA to train Indian astronauts at Johnson Space Centre in Houston, Texas with the aim to launch a space mission to ISS in 2024.

The Indian minister highlighted ISRO's skill as its commercial arm launched 385 foreign satellites, onboard their PSLV system. The satellites came from 34 countries around the world.