March 01, 2016

"NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has invited representatives from space organisations around the world, including the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), to a meeting in Washington next month, where they'll discuss how they can work together on the journey to Mars, according to reports."

Science Alert: ISRO has already proved that it has the ability to get to the Red Planetary efficiently - the space agency spent only US$74 million (less than the budget of the film Gravity) on their Mars Orbiter Mission, which put spacecraft Mangalyaan into the Red Planet's orbit on its first attempt. by FIONA MACDONALD

'And now it appears NASA might want to capitalise on some of that knowledge in order to help humans get to the red planet sooner. "Reaching the Mars orbit in first attempt was an amazing achievement and that too at such low cost," Charles Elachi, director of JPL, told the Press Trust of India (India's answer to the Associated Press). "Now American scientists through its MAVEN mission and India through its Mars Orbiter Mission are sharing data."

'Official details of the collaborative discussions are thin on the ground, but according to the Press Trust of India, NASA isn't only reaching out to ISRO for future collaboration, but also a range of other European countries, with the overall goal of getting humans to Mars faster.

'"Shortly, there is a meeting in Washington on possible collaborations for the next five to six mission to Mars and ISRO is invited for that meeting," said Elachi. "This is in preparation for the ultimate human space flight to Mars ... Hopefully, India will be part of the consortium between the US, Europe, France, Italy, among others, where all can capitalise on our capabilities to explore the Solar System."'

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