22 Jul 2019 21:53

Indian astronauts may come to Russia for training in late 2019-2020

NEW DELHI. July 22 (Interfax) - Indian astronauts may come to Russia to train for the first national manned mission at the end of this year or next year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Co-chair of the Russian-Indian intergovernmental commission for commercial and economic, scientific and technical, and cultural cooperation Yury Borisov said.

"We responded enthusiastically to the Indian side's request to help perform the launch of an Indian astronaut by 2022. A relevant agreement has been signed and work has been organized. The Indian side is really glad and expressed satisfaction with the way this work was organized," Borisov said following a meeting with the Indian co-chair of the intergovernmental commission, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, in New Delhi on Monday.

"I believe the Indian astronauts could come to us in the near future, because astronaut training requires a very lengthy and serious approach. I think it will be at the end of 2019 or in 2020," Borisov said.

In his speech on the occasion of Independence Day on August 15, 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the country would independently send a national crew into space by 2022, when India celebrates the 75th anniversary of its independence, "or earlier."