The I2U2 group comprising India, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the United States and Israel on Friday announced a new joint space venture aimed towards creating a 'unique space-based tool' for policymakers, institutions and entrepreneurs.
The joint space project primarily uses space-based observational data and capabilities of the four I2U2 countries, according to the US Department of State.
"Under the I2U2 group’s focus area of space, the governments of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States, all signatories of the Artemis Accords, announced a new joint space venture on the margins of the United Nations General Assembly in New York," the Department said in an official notice.
Furthermore, the project will enable the work of the four I2U2 countries on environmental and climate change challenges and further cooperation in the applications of space data for "the greater good of humanity", said the US State Department.
What is the I2U2 group?
The I2U2 group was established in 2021 after the Abraham Accords was brokered the previous year. The group convened its first leaders' summit on July 14, 2022, and aims to mobilize private sector capital and expertise to achieve modernising infrastructure, low carbon development pathways and improvement in public health.
The group also identifies bankable projects and initiatives to tackle global challenges and focuses on joint investments and initiatives in the fields of water, energy, transportation, space, health, food security, and technology.
On Thursday, the group launched a website to strengthen public-private partnership in several sectors and invited private companies from the four member countries to submit their projects to tackle some of the challenges confronting the world.
I2U2 officials termed the announcement of the digital platform a tangible step that will help in "shaping the sustainable and prosperous future".
India's progress in space sector
Exactly a month ago, India scripted history with a successful soft landing of the Chandrayaan-3 on the Moon's south pole - becoming the fourth country to reach the Moon and the first to reach the lunar south pole. The historic achievement has boosted India's prospects in the global space sector. Now, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has launched the Aditya-L1 Mission to study the sun in 'unprecedented detail'.
According to ISRO, the spacecraft placed in a halo orbit around the Lagrange point 1 (L1) of the Sun-Earth system, which is about 1.5 million km from the Earth, has the major advantage of continuously viewing the Sun without any occultation or eclipses.
This will provide a greater advantage of observing solar activities and its effect on space weather in real-time. The spacecraft carries seven payloads developed indigenously by the ISRO and national research laboratories, including the Indian Institute of Astrophysics, Bengaluru, and the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Pune.
(with agency input)