India and Germany enjoy a strategic partnership that both countries greatly value. Over the past few decades, Indo-German collaboration has deepened on many fronts, including space. What’s Up, Germany? brings you Indo-German cooperation in space.
Today, Germany is India’s second-most important research partner worldwide. In the space sector, research and the peaceful use of atomic energy form the basis of our cooperation. Intergovernmental Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements signed in 1971 and 1974 paved the way for cooperation—between the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and the German Aerospace Center (DLR), and between research institutions and universities. ISRO and DLR actively work together through joint workshops, inter-agency agreements and an exchange of scientists. A number of ISRO’s satellites use DLR’s ground stations in Weilheim and Neustrelitz to transmit data.
Up You Go!
As part of Indo-German space cooperation, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has put several German satellites into orbit:
1996 ISRO’s remote sensing satellite IRS-P3 and DLR’s Modular Optoelectronic Scanner (MOS) were launched by the PSLV-D3 launch vehicle.
1999 PSLV-C2 placed India’s IRS-P4, the 107-kg German DLR-TUBSAT and a Korean satellite into orbit. This was the first time ISRO launched three satellites in a single vehicle!
2001 DLR’s BIRD, the first satellite designed to detect forest fires, was successfully put into space on board PSLV-C3.
2014 Germany’s AISat took off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre on board PSLV-C23.
2016 Fitted to a PSLV launcher, the BIROS (Bispectral InfraRed Optical System) satellite journeyed into space.
India and Germany recognise that the high-tech space sector has immense potential for collaboration and mutual growth. Germany is known the world over for its technological competence and innovation. India has strong IT skills and growing needs, making them natural partners. In 2016, the Indo-German High Technology Partnership Group (HTPG) identified opportunities for high-tech collaboration.
The Indian government has quite ambitious plans for its space programme. The idea is to develop domestic high-tech capability and encourage more private sector involvement through programmes like “Make in India”, “Skill India” and “Digital India”. This would create a world-class manufacturing infrastructure that leverages the country’s plus points: democracy, demography and demand. Germany fully supports these programmes and is looking to invest in India and help its industries become globally competitive. That makes Germany a preferred partner!