Roscosmos confirms a go for 2013 Indian Soyuz mission

by | Jan 13, 2010 | Iran | 1 comment

India is to have two new cosmonauts flown on a Russian Energia Soyuz TMA spacecraft in 2013 under an agreement between the two countries

The Russian Federal Space Agency (aka Roscosmos) confirmed to Hyperbola other media reports of the done deal that comes six months after the agency’s head Anatoly Perminov spoke at the Paris air show about discussions for such a flight

The flight sounds like Space Adventures’ proposed private Soyuz trip to the International Space Station but the Indian mission would not go to the ISS. Roscosmos’ head of human space missions directorate Alexey Krasnov told this blogger at the 60th International Astronautical Congress in Korea that the private launch could not occur for up to five-years because the flight engineer, who would not be on the two tourist flight, has a role to play in spacecraft operations. With cosmonaut training the Indian personnel would be able to carry out that engineer function

The 2013 date also ends Space Adventures hopes of having its private flight that year. Perminov has spoken of the difficulty the Russian space industry has had in meeting the challenges of four Soyuz TMA missions a year to the ISS and the Energia Progress spacecraft cargo flights. A fifth Soyuz flight in 2013 will be another challenge making the prospects for a sixth mission, for Space Adventures, highly unlikely. This would confirm what Kraznov implied, that the two tourist private flight can not occur until 2014 at the earliest 

India’s first citizen in space was wing commander Rakesh Sharma, trained as a cosmonaut for Soyuz T-11 mission that flew in 1984. The next two Indians to fly in 2013 will no doubt have cosmonaut training too

The Indian Space Research Organisation has its own plans for a domestically designed and built three crew capsule that will fly from 2015. It would like to use Russian facilities for some of the development work but ISRO insists that its spacecraft will be an Indian design and not a version of Russia’s Soyuz TMA

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