Posted: Sat, Oct 4, 2014, 10:27 AM ET (1427 GMT)
The space agencies of India and the United States signed an agreement this week to cooperate on both an Earth sciences mission and Mars exploration. The agreement between NASA and ISRO, signed Tuesday, includes the joint development of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR). That spacceraft, scheduled for launch in 2020, will use a dual-band radar system to provide high-resolution data on changes to the Earth's surface. NASA will provide one radar system and assorted spacecraft subsystems, while India wil provide the other radar and spacecraft bus, and will also be responsible for launching NISAR. The two agencies will also create a joint Mars working group to identify potential future cooperation on Mars missions.