Russia has offered to train Indian astronauts for its future space missions. The Russian state space corporation, ROSCOSMOS, during a meeting with Indian delegation on Friday, made a proposal for participation of Russian specialists in the selection and training of Indian astronauts for a spaceflight, a source in the rocket and space industry told Sputnik. India had earlier announced plans to send a national crew into orbit in 2022.
“Talks were held with the Indian side. A proposal was made about Russian specialists' assistance in conducting various stages of selection of candidates for the flight, as well as (the candidates) passing a training course in Russia and assistance in the subsequent training of Indian astronauts in India," the source said.
India and Russia have close collaboration in the field of space. India’s first astronaut Rakesh Sharma had travelled to space on board Soyuz T-11 spacecraft along with Russian commander Yuri Vasiliyevich Malyshev and Russian flight engineer Gennadi Mikhailovich Strekalov.
In 2015, India and Russia signed an agreement to pursue joint programmes in a few areas of space research. Indian Space Research Organisation and Russian Federal Space Agency signed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on expansion of cooperation in the field of the exploration and use of outer space for peaceful purposes.
This new MoU provides scope for developing joint activities in areas of mutual interest, including satellite navigation, launch vehicle development, critical technologies for human spaceflight programme, remote sensing of Earth, space science and planetary exploration, and use of ground space infrastructure. Specific cooperation proposals 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 cooperation.
India and Russia have four decades of strong space relationship.The former Soviet Union also launched India’s first two satellites, Aryabhata and Bhaskar, into orbit from Baikonur Cosmodrome.