ISRO is all set to increase its technical footprint in Russia as it gears up to launch its first human space flight – Gaganyaan – in 2022.
The Centre on Wednesday gave its approval for establishing the ISRO Technical Liaison Unit (ITLU) in Moscow to enable technical coordination for timely interventions with Russia to achieve the space agency's programmatic targets.
ISRO has drawn up plans to launch its maiden human space flight in August 2022 and development of some key technologies and establishing facilities essential to support life in outer space would require close coordination with international space agencies.
“Keeping in view the August 15, 2022 timeline for the realisation of the Gaganyaan human space programme, it is prudent to avail technical cooperation from International space agencies, who have already demonstrated their technical capabilities in specific areas,” an official statement said here
The ITLU in Moscow would enable collaboration with space agencies and industries in Russia and neighbouring countries, it said.
The ITLU Moscow office would be managed by an ISRO Scientist/Engineer designated as 'Counsellor (Space)' on deputation from the space agency. It is expected to be set up in the next six months.
ISRO has similar liaison units in Washington and Paris for coordination with space agencies in the US and Europe.
The Cabinet also granted ex-post facto approval to the Memorandum of Understanding for space cooperation with Bolivia signed during the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to that country in March this year.
“The MoU will provide impetus to explore newer research activities and application possibilities in the field of remote sensing of the earth; satellite communication; satellite navigation; space science and planetary exploration,” an official statement said.