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India to expand space ties with Italy: ISRO

India has agreed to expand space cooperation with Italy by tapping opportunities in earth observation, space science, robotic and human exploration, the state-run Indian space agency said on Thursday.

“At a bilateral meeting in a virtual model with the Italian Space Agency (ISA) on Wednesday, we have agreed to form thematic working groups to work on earth observation, space science, and robotic and human exploration,” said Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) in a statement here.

The virtual meeting was presided over by ISRO Chairman K. Sivan and ISA President Giorgio Saccoccia.

Expanding space cooperation with Italy comes days after India launched a 637kg Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 onboard PSLV-C51 rocket from ISRO’s spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh, about 90km northeast of Chennai on February 28.

Brazil’s Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marcos Pontes, who witnessed the launch at the spaceport, offered to step-up the space ties with India.

“Brazil has requested India’s support in procurement of material and systems for its launch vehicle program,” said the statement.

Cooperation in space missions using ISRO’s fourth stage of polar satellite launch vehicle’s (PLSV) orbital platform for studying weather was discussed at the meeting with the Brazilian delegation.

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