Diplomatist Special Report: West Asia - North Africa 2018 WANA 2018 - Page 50

SPECIAL REPORT Space Co-operation between India & West Asia By ACHAL GAUTAM* B y all accounts, India’s space program had a stellar 2017. That was capped with its latest launch last Friday of India’s hundredth satellites, along with 30 other satellites, on board its workhorse space rocket: the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV-C40). Almost a year ago, in February 2017, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) had launched 104 satellites on a single PSLV rocket, a world record. Last Friday’s launch included a Cartosat-2 earth observation satellite, along with 30 other micro- and nano-satellites from six different countries. These achievements have been warmly praised by India’s leaders, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeting his congratulations to the ISRO. 50 •West Asia-North Africa