The US is ready to help India build its own space station, said NASA chief Bill Nelson, who is on his maiden visit to the country.

Nelson's visit will mark a series of strategic discussions aimed at strengthening the partnership between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).

"Touchdown in India! Ready to embark on a week of engaging meetings and events to grow @NASA's partnership with @ISRO. India is a leader in space and we're looking forward to a productive visit," Nelson wrote in a post on X.

NASA chief Bill Nelson
NASA chief Bill NelsonIANS

Speaking to the media, he congratulated India for landing on the South Pole of the moon, noting that "the US will be sending private landers to the south pole in 2024, but India has already done it."

He said that "India is a great partner for NASA," and that the US space agency will help India's vision to build its own space station by 2040.

"Commercial space stations can open a lot of avenues for research including pharma research in zero gravity. If India wants, we can collaborate and share our experience."


Nelson is expected to visit Bengaluru's NISAR spacecraft facilities -- the first ever collaboration between NASA and ISTo over hardware development on the Earth-observing mission.

NISAR (NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar) set to launch in 2024 is pivotal for understanding various aspects of Earth's ecosystems, natural hazards, and climate change.

NASA will also train an Indian astronaut to fly to the International Space Station in 2024.

The NASA chief is also expected to meet Indian private companies operating in the space sector, students and discuss STEM to inspire the next generation of space explorers, known as the Artemis Generation.

(With inputs from IANS)