Nine months after Russian President Vladimir Putin told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that Russia would help India put an astronaut in space by 2022, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval met Russia’s space agency chief on Friday and discussed key aspects of the Gaganyaan Mission.
Doval met the director general of Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS, Dmitry Rogozin, in Hyderabad House and the two discussed all aspects of India-Russia space cooperation, according to an official statement.
“Both sides agreed to take a strategic approach to elevate bilateral cooperation to the next level keeping in mind the special…partnership and India’s priorities, such as the Make in India programme. The possibilities for production of space systems in India were an important part of the discussions. Cooperation in futuristic technologies including new space systems, rocket engines, propellants and propulsion systems, spacecrafts and launch vehicle technology were also discussed,” added the statement.
Senior representatives of ROSCOSMOS its subsidiary GLAVCOSMOS, rocket maker Energia and rocket engine maker Energomash were present from the Russian side, whereas Secretary of Space and ISRO chairman K Sivan and the Director of the Human Space Flight Programme, Unnikrishnan Nair, were present from the Indian side, besides other senior officials.
“Details regarding cooperation for the Gaganyaan Mission were discussed. In addition, the Russian side stated that they would like to see India participate in the International Space Station, and offered its full support for this purpose,” the statement said.
“Cooperation in space has emerged as a key area of cooperation in the high technology sector between India and Russia. Today, there is new respect for India’s rapidly growing capabilities in outer space, and Russia sees India as a key partner for promoting peaceful uses of outer space,” the statement added.
In October last year, when Putin was in India, Modi had said, “Russia has always been with us in the development journey of India. The next goal in our space journey is to send an Indian astronaut in Gaganyaan. I am very happy that you have assured full cooperation of Russia in this mission.” At the time, the two sides had also signed an agreement on ‘joint activities in the field of human spaceflight programme’.
In a joint statement, both countries had emphasised the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation in area of outer space.
“The sides agreed to further intensify cooperation in exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes, including human spaceflight programmes, scientific projects, as well as agreed to continue developing cooperation on the BRICS remote sensing satellite constellation,” the joint statement had said.