Russia Has a Brave Proposal: Perhaps It's Time to Send an Indian Astronaut Into Orbit?
Russia suggests putting an Indian astronaut into orbit said Dmitry Rogozin, the head of Roscosmos, during his visit to New Delhi. The main goal of the trip was to promote cooperation in space. The groundwork has been laid. Earlier, the Indian Space Research Organization said they were going to form the country's first manned mission. They consider Russia as a training ground for astronauts. Now Moscow's consent has been obtained.
Dmitry Melnikov is reporting on the details.
The space program is ambitious. India is preparing to be launched into space. In four years, the country will launch its first manned spaceship which will make it the world's fourth state with its own manned space flight. While Indian society is discussing the name of the ship — one of the option is Gaganyans, which means Sky Boat — the Indian Space Research Organization is thinking of a way to combine the national motto — «Made in India» — while using the experience of world leaders in the field of space exploration and which approach to choose.
The USA won't return to manned flights for at least several years. Russia offers to take India closer to space.
Dmitry Rogozin, Roscosmos: «For Indian specialists, it's important to create the life-support system, the system of survivability of the manned spacecraft. The second is the astronaut training system itself. It's difficult to create it in India from scratch. The methods are needed, as well as the equipment that is currently available in Russia. That's why the talks we held in New Delhi have policy timetables. They're determined by the leadership of the country. They can't decline the timetable. They went public. It means they're now an element of the state's image protection. In order to meet the timetables, they need a strategic partner. Russia can be such a strategic partner. Today we confirmed our readiness to move together in this direction».
In the declamation on India's Independence Day, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi inspired the citizens with an announcement that India is going to put its sons and daughters into Earth's orbit by 2022. Doing that, they're expected to break several space records. The first manned flight will be a team one. There'll be a woman in the crew. The Indians will spend 5-7 days in space.
Besides, India will be the first country which during the first manned flight program preparation won't use animals in test launches. Apparently, it's due to the Hindu tradition of not harming living beings.
India esteems Rakesh Sharma as its first and, for now, the only citizen in space. In 1984 he went into orbit on board the Soviet spaceship Soyuz-T11. Russia is ready to support India again in the realization of its own manned flight.
Dmitry Rogozin, Roscosmos: «For us, it would be important not just to train the Indian astronauts, whether it would be in Star City, or our other centers, I think it would be nice to test them in actual outer space. Today, I have proposed to India, that if they have the will, desire, and the funds, we are ready to provide training to the first Indian astronauts to put them onto the International Space Station with our spaceship. They should understand how all of this works, you see».
India can be a valuable strategic partner for Russia in space within BRICS, Dmitry Rogozin said. The Roscosmos delegation brought several proposals of long-term cooperation to New Delhi. In the IAF, they're selecting as Premier Modi said, the «sons and daughters of India», to be future astronauts. Then they'll face up to 3 years of intensive training which according to the Indian Space Research Organization will be carried out in a foreign country.
Dmitry Melnikov, Ivan Malyshev, Vesti, Delhi.