Indian space agency ISRO has agreed to expand space cooperation with Italy by tapping opportunities in earth observation, space science, robotic and human exploration. The announcement came at the virtual meeting presided over by ISRO Chairman K. Sivan and ISA President Giorgio Saccoccia on Thursday.

"At a bilateral meeting in virtual mode 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.

ISRO logo

The move to expand space cooperation with Italy comes days after India launched 637kg Brazilian satellite Amazonia-1 on board PSLV-C51 rocket from ISRO's spaceport at Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh on February 28.

Brazil keen to be ISRO partner

Brazil's Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Marcos Pontes, who was one of the witnesses at the launch port, also 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 programme," 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.

ISRO has so far entered into several cooperative arrangements with Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Norway, Peru, Portugal, Republic of Korea, Russia, Sao-Tome & Principe, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, The Netherlands, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, and Vietnam.

In addition, formal cooperative instruments have been signed with international multilateral bodies like European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), European Commission, European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), European Space Agency (ESA) and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).