Russia, India sign space cooperation protocol
India and Russia on July 18 signed a protocol to boost co-operation in space including joint development of the GLONASS navigation system and launching Russian GLONASS spacecraft by Indian rockets.
The protocol signed by Anatoly Perminov of the Russian Federal Space Agency and ISRO Chairman Gopalan Madhavan Nair also provides for the joint projects in space exploration.
Nair and Perminov discussed the prospects for the restoration and joint use of the global satellite network for navigation (GLONASS) and the possibility of launching Russian spacecraft on Indian-made space launch vehicles, FSA spokesman Vyacheslav Davidenko said. The cooperation in the area also provides for joint development of new-generation navigation satellites and end-user equipment, stressed Davidenko. Possible options of sending Russian experts to India and Indian experts to Russian companies were also discussed.
India and Russia are also exploring the possibility of developing equipment for Earth probes, joint research in the area of electric engines for spacecraft, and joint projects for probing lunar surface and building a space-based solar observatory to study X-ray radiation. Russia has also indicated its desire to join India’s Chandrayan Lunar project.
Peaceful cooperation in the sphere of space has been an important part of Indo-Russian relations. In the 1970s-80s, the Soviet Union had launched first Indian satellites-Aryabhatta and Bhaskara from its Baikonur cosmodrome.
The first Indian astronaut Rakesh Sharma had traveled to the Soviet Salyut-7 space station in 1984.