ISRO is setting up a liaison office in Moscow ahead of ISRO’s 2022 Gaganyaan human space program. In order to have a successful manned space mission, ISRO needs to work out a lot of things technology-wise. Moscow could help ISRO in developing the key technologies for the specialized facilities required to support life in space.
The union cabinet today approved the setting up of the ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) at Moscow. This would take an annual expenditure of about 1.50 crore. The Moscow office would be managed by an ISRO scientist who is going to be the ‘Counsellor(Space)’ on deputation, and the Counsellor would be supported by local staff.
The liaison officer would share and provide important technical information about the developments in research and technology arising out of the meetings with researchers, government agencies, and industries in different countries. They also support the ongoing bilateral programs of cooperation in space technology and act on behalf of ISRO on the matters referred.
ISRO will be able to collaborate with space agencies in Russia and neighboring countries. In order to meet the 15 August 2022 timeline for the Gaganyaan human space program, ISRO needs to not only develop safety measures but they also need to avail technical cooperation from International space agencies, like that of Russia.
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Russia dominates when it comes to developing space technologies. So it is only natural that ISRO is seeking out the help of Russia and setting up a liaison unit there. The ISRO Technical Liaison Units (ITLU) already exist at Washington, USA, and Paris, France. The main aim of these liaisons is to collaborate with various government and space agencies in the US and Europe.
India and Russia’s space relation is not new, and space cooperation between these two countries is one of their major links. India has also expanded its space cooperation with countries near Russia apart from Russia.