Skip to main content

Trump hails India's 'impressive strides' on moon exploration, pledges greater cooperation on space

India's rapid progress in lunar exploration has the attention of the president of the United States.

During a speech Monday (Feb. 25) in India, President Donald Trump said the United States plans to cooperate more with India in the realm of space, after the "impressive strides" made under the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan moon exploration program.

"India and the U.S. are ... working together on the future of space exploration," Trump said at a stadium in the city of Ahmedabad; his remarks were livestreamed worldwide. "You are making impressive strides with your exciting Chandrayaan lunar program that is moving along rapidly, far ahead of schedule, and America looks forward to expanding our space cooperation."

Video: Trump praises India's space program
Related: Presidential visions for space exploration: From Ike to Trump

(Image credit: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty)

India has a data-sharing agreement to provide images from its Chandrayaan-2 mission to NASA for the Artemis program, a multinational initiative (led by the U.S.) to put astronauts on the moon again by 2024, according to the Times of India.

Chandrayaan-2 arrived at the moon in 2019 to begin a multiyear mapping mission to get high-definition photographs of the surface, photographs that could be useful for future landing missions. The country attempted to send a lander named Vikram to the surface, but the little machine was destroyed in a crash-landing .

A predecessor mission, Chandrayaan-1, confirmed ice water on the surface of the moon in 2009; water is considered an important resource for human missions. India plans even more work after this pair of missions, with Chandrayaan-3 already under development for a launch and another landing attempt next year.

The two countries are collaborating on other projects outside of lunar exploration, too. NASA and ISRO plan to launch a new satellite in 2022. The satellite, called NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISAR) satellite, can monitor floods, glacial changes and soil moisture.

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook

(opens in new tab)

OFFER: Save at least 56% with our latest magazine deal! (opens in new tab)

All About Space magazine (opens in new tab) takes you on an awe-inspiring journey through our solar system and beyond, from the amazing technology and spacecraft that enables humanity to venture into orbit, to the complexities of space science.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Elizabeth Howell
Staff Writer, Spaceflight

Elizabeth Howell, Ph.D., is a staff writer in the spaceflight channel since 2022. She was contributing writer for Space.com (opens in new tab) for 10 years before that, since 2012. As a proud Trekkie and Canadian, she also tackles topics like diversity, science fiction, astronomy and gaming to help others explore the universe. Elizabeth's on-site reporting includes two human spaceflight launches from Kazakhstan, three space shuttle missions in Florida, and embedded reporting from a simulated Mars mission in Utah. She holds a Ph.D. and M.Sc. in Space Studies from the University of North Dakota, and a Bachelor of Journalism from Canada's Carleton University. Elizabeth is also a post-secondary instructor in communications and science since 2015. Her latest book, Leadership Moments from NASA, is co-written with astronaut Dave Williams. Elizabeth first got interested in space after watching the movie Apollo 13 in 1996, and still wants to be an astronaut someday.