Ready to collaborate for building Indian space station: NASA Administrator

New Delhi:  The United States is open to collaborating with India in building its own space station, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Administrator Bill Nelson said here on Tuesday.

On a visit to India, Nelson said the US and India were working on plans to send an Indian astronaut to the International Space Station by the end of next year.

“The selection of astronaut is determined by ISRO. NASA will not make the selection,” Nelson told a group of reporters here.

In response to a question, he said the US would be ready to collaborate with India in building the space station if it so desires.

“We expect by that time to have a commercial space station. I think India wants to have a commercial space station by 2040. If India wants us to collaborate with them, of course, we will be available. But that’s up to India,” Nelson said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked ISRO to aim to build an Indian space station by 2035 and land astronauts on the moon by 2040.

Nelson met Science and Technology Minister Jitendra Singh on Tuesday and is scheduled to visit Mumbai for a meeting with business leaders in the space sector.

He is scheduled to visit the ISRO headquarters in Bangalore and also meet Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma.