Russia to help train Indian astronaut for Gaganyaan mission, may include visit to ISS aboard Soyuz spacecraft

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New Delhi | Published: October 3, 2018 10:53:51 PM

The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities and Indian Space Research Organisation are expected to work together on the first manned space mission.

Russia to help train Indian astronaut for Gaganyaan mission (Representative Image: PTI)

The Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities and Indian Space Research Organisation are expected to work together on the first manned space mission. The Russian side has offered a ride to Indian astronaut a short visit to International Space Station (ISS) on board a Soyuz spacecraft for a short training mission in 2022. India hopes to send its first manned mission Gaganyaan in 2022.

Citing sources, Russian news agency said, “The Russian side has offered Indian colleagues to conduct a short visit to the ISS. The flight should take place in 2022 before or after India’s independent manned space mission. The agreement is expected to be signed in the near future.”

Media reports suggest that “Expansion the scope of Indo-Russian space cooperation, and training of Indian astronauts, will be on the table to be discussed when Prime Minister Narendra Modi meets President Vladimir Putin for the annual bilateral summit on Friday in New Delhi.”

As reported by FE ONLINE earlier, “Since India is planning to launch its first manned space mission by 2022, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said in his Independence Day address, there is a scope for further expanding the scope for cooperation, ” a source had said.

It was in this context that Russia made this offer when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had visited Russia last month to co-chair the 23rd India-Russia Inter- Governmental Commission on Technical & Economic Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC), and Yuri Borisov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation.

The ISS is a habitable artificial satellite in low Earth orbit. If successful, India would be the fourth nation to send a human in space after the US, Russia and China.

Rakesh Sharma, a former Indian Air Force pilot, was the first Indian to travel to space. He was part of the Soviet Union’s Soyuz T-11 expedition, launched on April 2, 1984, as part of the Intercosmos programme. India-born Kalpana Chawla and Indian-origin Sunita Williams are among the known names to have gone to space.

Russia is planning to set up ground base stations in India for receiving communication signals of GLONASS. Similarly, ISRO will be allowed to set up IRNSS (now called NavIC) ground stations in Russia. This is another giant leap in Indo-Russian collaboration in the realm of space.

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