CSIR-NIIST and VSSC Collaborate to Scale Up Kerala's Space Program Research
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CSIR-NIIST and VSSC Collaborate to Scale Up Kerala's Space Program Research

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CSIR-National Institute for Interdisciplinary Science and Technology (CSIR-NIIST) and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (VSSC) have joined hands through a collaborative memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance research efforts and facilitate the provision of cutting-edge materials crucial for India’s space program.

Recently, NIIST Director C Anandharamakrishnan and VSSC Director S Unnikrishnan Nair exchanged the overarching MoU. This agreement enables VSSC and CSIR-NIIST to pinpoint areas of collaboration, ultimately resulting in the provision of advanced materials such as engineered alloys, coatings, and functional materials, all of which hold significant importance in space programs.

CSIR-NIIST, a leading interdisciplinary research laboratory operating under the auspices of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Government of India, boasts a distinguished history of groundbreaking research and development (R&D) endeavors in the field. Such endeavors stand to significantly aid VSSC, the primary center of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) headquartered in Thiruvananthapuram.

ISRO believes that manufacturing very high-end materials, electronics, and composites is necessary for India to become completely self-reliant in space research and technology. “We have been concentrating on doing it within India all the time. For example, the materials we use for our rockets and satellites are a reasonably high percentage indigenous,” said ISRO chairman S Somanath.

Following the conclusion of the Chandrayaan and Aditya-L1 mission programs, ISRO aims to cultivate strategically crucial advanced materials and indigenous technologies to foster India's self-sufficiency in upcoming space endeavors. Dr. Anandharamakrishnan emphasized that the MoU guarantees the provision of strategic materials essential for ISRO projects, aligning with NIIST's high-priority objectives and ensuring the delivery of engineered components meeting ISRO's stringent specifications.

The alliance between these two leading institutions is poised to provide a significant boost to India's exceptionally successful space missions, with ambitions for even more endeavors this year following the remarkable achievements of last year.