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India, Russia hold talks to boost space cooperation

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India and Russia have held high-level talks in New Delhi to elevate bilateral cooperation to the next level in the field of space, including assistance in India's maiden human space flight mission 'Gaganyaan', according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Dmitry Rogozin, Director General of Russia's space agency ROSCOSMOS, led the two sides in the meeting held on Thursday.

"There have been frequent contacts between the two space agencies to finalise the details of the Gaganyaan Mission, which will carry Indian astronaut to space in 2022, to coincide with India's 75th anniversary of Independence," an MEA statement said Friday.

Russia has promised all assistance for India's Human Space Flight Mission and details regarding cooperation for the Gaganyaan Mission were discussed, the statement said, adding it also offered support to India in participating in the International Space Station (ISS).

Both sides agreed to take a strategic approach to elevate bilateral cooperation to the next level keeping in mind the special and privileged partnership and India's priorities such as Make in India programme, the MEA said.

Senior representatives of ROSCOSMOS, GLAVCOSMOS, Energia and Energomash were present from the Russian side. From the Indian side, ISRO Chairman and Department of Space Secretary K Sivan and the Director of the Human Space Flight Programme also attended the meeting.

Cooperation in futuristic technologies including new space systems, rocket engines, propellants and propulsion systems, spacecraft and launch vehicle technology were also discussed.

"The Russian side stated that they would like to see India participate in the International Space Station, and offered its full support for this purpose," the statement said.

Space has emerged as a key area of cooperation between India and Russia in the high technology sector. India shares a robust cooperation with Russia in strategic areas of defence, nuclear and space.

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