A former top National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) official, the space agency of the United States, hailed the importance of India-US ties for space exploration, ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming visit to the White House.
Mike Gold, the former associate administrator for Space Policy and Partnerships at NASA, said “India-US ties are absolutely critical on earth, and possibly even more so in space.” “India will soon become the fourth country to be able to launch its citizens into space and is therefore a global leader in the field…,” Gold said, adding that he hoped PM Modi and US President Joe Biden would explore possibilities of strengthening cooperation in the field of space during Indian premier’s official state visit to US next Thursday.
“Sky is no longer the limit for India…it is going to the moon with a lunar rover, and to the Sun. I think that’s wonderful synergy and balance between both the Sun and a Moon mission that India is conducting,” he added.
Gold, who is currently the chief growth officer of Florida-based Redwire Space, batted for the need to bring together the two space power countries and said he hoped NASA would accelerate efforts to support ISRO’s human space flight goals .
Gold said India is a “sleeping giant” when it comes to commercial space and that the opportunities associated with it must be explored by the two nations.
“As we look at where the Indian and US relationship will evolve, it can begin with partnerships with NASA and what’s occurring with the ISS, but in parallel to that, we should be having discussions now between private sector entities and ISRO in regards to leveraging the new wave of commercial space stations that will eventually succeed the ISS,” he said.
Gold is considered an architect of the Artemis Accord, a US-led agreement which guides civil space exploration. India is not a signatory to the agreement.