Gaganyaan: Russia to train Indian cosmonauts, offer semi-cryogenic engine technology

ISRO has set up a liaison unit in Moscow, they will collaborate with the Russian space agency and industries for tech.

Russia has offered India a helping hand in our effort to launch the first Indians into space.

The chairperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) Dr K Sivan said in an interview that the two countries are discussing different levels of cooperation in the space sector. Russia has offered to give India the technology needed for the human capsule that India is building for its astronauts.

In an interview with IANS, Sivan said, "We are in discussions with the Russian space agency on various aspects and nothing has been firmed up. What has been finalised is the agreement to train the Indian cosmonauts by Russia for our human space mission Gaganyaan. Russia is offering its semi-cryogenic rocket engine technology to India under the 'Make-in-India' programme. The rocket engines could be made in India and used in our rockets.”

ISRO's Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle. Image: ISRO

Representational image. Image credit: ISRO

When asked if the critical components for the capsule would be provided by Russia, Sivan said in the same interview, "The discussions are on. Nothing has been finalised. We have to see whether we need to buy their components. The components have to be suitable for us."

ISRO has set a liaison unit in Moscow that will help in the Russian-Indian partnership for the Gaganyaan mission. India will be launching the first woman and man in space via this mission before 15 August 2022.

This office will be headed by an ISRO scientist, however, the team will be locally sourced. The unit will work with the space agencies and industries in Russia for technical cooperation.

Recently, in a statement, Russia said that they will look into building a ground control in India to enhance the accuracies of their satellites. Sivan confirmed this statement, saying that India wanted to set up its NavIC ground station in Moscow, Russia and in turn, Russia would also be allowed to set up its ground station in Bengaluru for its satellite navigation system.

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