The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will set up a technical liaison unit (ITLU) in Moscow, Russia for the upcoming human spaceflight programme – Gaganyaan. ISRO is set to aggressively work with the Russian Space Agency – ROSCOSMOS who has both the experience and the technical expertise to undertake such missions.
ISRO needs this Moscow unit to accelerate its Gaganyaan programme as the agency requires “development of some key technologies and establishment of specialised facilities, which are essential to support life in space”, a statement said.
The Gaganyaan mission is projected to be launched in 2022, under which ISRO will send three astronauts to space for seven days. Russia appeared to ba natural partner as Moscow has proven experience and expertise (in sending cosmonauts to space) besides the historical ties between two nations.
The ITLU office will be managed by an ISRO official and should be completed in six months of time frame. The officials are expected to provide technical information about developments in research and technology and inputs stemming from meetings with researchers, government agencies and industries in respective countries.
ISRO – ROSCOSMOS Collaboration
Earlier, as EurAsian Times reported, ROSCOSMOS, during a meeting with Indian officials, offered the assistance of Russian experts for the selection and training of Indian astronauts for a human spaceflight mission.
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ROSCOSMOS is the national Russia space agency and has also launched India’s first two satellites, Aryabhatta and Bhaskara, into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Khazakstan (under USSR)
An offer was made about Russian experts’ support in conducting various stages of selection of astronauts for the flight, as well as passing a foundation course in Russia and assistance in the subsequent training of Indian astronauts.
India and Russia share a strong collaboration in the field of space technology. India’s first astronaut Rakesh Sharma travelled to space onboard Soyuz T-11 spacecraft along with Russian commander Yuri Malyshev and Russian engineer Gennadi Mikhailovich Strekalov.
In 2015, India and Russia signed an agreement to pursue joint programs in a few areas of space research. Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the augmentation of collaboration in the field of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
This MoU between ISRO and ROSCOSMOS provides scope for developing joint projects including satellite navigation, launch vehicle development, vital technologies for human spaceflight programme, remote sensing of Earth, space science and planetary exploration, and use of ground space infrastructure.
Specific collaborative offers for further processing are also included in the MoU. Joint projects, sharing of expertise and resources, development of space systems and components, exchange of scientists, training and scientific and technical meetings are listed out as the forms of collaboration.