NASA to unveil NISAR Science Instrument, a joint venture with Indian Space Research Organization

NASA-ISRO partnership for science instrument. Photo: Twitter @NASAjpl

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has organized a special ceremony to witness the international earth science instrument, NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar), in a clean room, on February 3, 2023, at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s (JPL) Spacecraft Assembly Facility in Southern California. NISAR is a joint mission of the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), and NASA.

The ceremony, which will feature the breaking of fresh coconuts (a common Indian tradition to mark auspicious occasions), will be attended by ISRO Chairman S. Somanath, JPL Director Laurie Leshin, and several other officials from NASA headquarters in Washington DC.

A news statement from NASA said, NISAR, the powerful Earth-observing satellite, which is set to depart to India soon, will provide essential information about movement of Earth’s land and ice surfaces. The satellite, equipped with a drum-shaped radar reflector almost 40 feet (12 meters) in diameter, is scheduled to launch from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, Andhra Pradesh, India, in 2024.

“NISAR will measure movement of Earth’s land and ice surfaces down to the fractions of an inch, helping researchers understand phenomena such as the melting of sea ice and ice sheets due to climate change, the sinking of land from groundwater depletion and drought, and the subtle, slow-moving changes in land that precede earthquakes, landslides, and volcanoes. It will also observe how forests, wetlands, and agricultural regions are responding to evolving weather and climate conditions,” added the statement.

NISAR mission team members include Phil Barela, NISAR project manager, Paul Rosen, NISAR project scientist, Wendy Edelstein, NISAR deputy project manager, Susan Owen, NISAR deputy project scientist, Erika Podest, Scientist with the Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems Group, JPL will be present at the ceremony as well.



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