As American space agency NASA looks forward to sending astronauts to Mars, it has invited the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) for a possible international collaboration.

Several space agencies of different countries are also expected to attend the meeting in Washington next month.

“We are looking to send astronauts to Mars. In order to do that, you need certain robotic missions to begin with. Early next month, there will be a meeting in Washington. The ISRO has also been invited for the meeting to discuss the future collaborations for the mission to Mars. We think it will be more of an international consortium. There are potential opportunities to collaborate in future,” said Jakob van Zyl, Associate Director, Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The NASA scientist was delivering a lecture on its Mars mission and its finding on the Red Planet at American Centre here.

There is also a ISRO-NASA Mars Working Group in place, which has been looking into opportunities for enhanced cooperation in Mars exploration including potential coordinated observations and analysis between ISRO’s Mars Orbiter Mission and NASA’s Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution Mission (MAVEN).

The UAE has also signed a cooperation agreement with the ISRO for its Mars Mission, the first to be undertaken by any Gulf nation.