NASA, ISRO prepare to launch a joint space mission

The NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) is set to be launched in the first quarter of 2024 after a few tests, particularly those related to vibration, NASA officials have said.

“ISRO is projecting the first quarter of next year. So, I mean, that’s ready,” NASA NISAR Project Manager Phil Barela said during a media interaction here on Wednesday.

He is expecting the launch of NISAR (spelt as ‘Naisar’) “not earlier than January” from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre at Sriharikota aboard the ISRO Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle Mark-II.

The mission, which has three-year duration, aims to survey all of Earth’s land and ice-covered surfaces every 12 days. This will start after a 90-day satellite commissioning period.

Regarding the key tests that are pending to be undertaken, Barela said, “The vibration testing that’s underway, but there’s a whole slew of performance tests that we need to do.”