India and Mauritius will jointly develop a small satellite which will be launched by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) early next year, the Union Cabinet led by Prime Minster Narendra Modi was apprised on January 5, 2024.
India and Mauritius had signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) for the development of a joint small satellite during the visit of Minister of State for External Affairs V Murleedharan to Port Louis on November 1, 2023. The MoU will help in establishing a framework cooperation between ISRO and Mauritius Research and Innovation Council (MRIC) on the development of a joint satellite as well as for cooperation on the use of ground station in the island nation.
Based on an interest expressed by the MRIC in jointly building the small satellite for Mauritius, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) requested ISRO to initiate discussions on realizing an India-Mauritius joint satellite. The MEA will provide funding for realization, launch and operation of the joint satellite. The resulting MoU, funded by the MEA for the satellite’s realization, launch and operation was signed during the Aaprvasi Diwas event attended by the Minister of State for the MEA in Mauritius.
An official statement said that the collaborations through the joint development of satellites will help in further ensuring continuous support from the Mauritius government for the Indian ground stations at Mauritius, which is critical for India’s launch vehicle and satellite missions. “Some of the subsystems for the joint satellite will be taken up through the participation of Indian Industries and would benefit the industry,” an official statement said.
In addition, the joint satellite building will also help in ensuring MRIC support from their ground station for ISRO’s small satellite mission in future. The estimated cost for the joint satellite is Rs 20 crores which will be borne by India and will be developed in a period of fifteen months
India-Mauritius Space Cooperation
The Space cooperation between India and Mauritius dates way back to the 1980’s when ISRO established a joint station in Mauritius for tracking and telemetry support for ISRO launch vehicle and satellite missions under a country level agreement signed on July 29, 2009 which superseded the 1986 agreement.