ISRO Mulls Foreign Partnerships for Human Spaceflight Program

ISRO Chairman K. Radhakrishnan says that all options are on the table for India’s human spaceflight program, which plans to send astronauts into orbit later in the decade:

“One possibility is to have a human being (Indian) flown in Soyuz (Russian rocket) or some other system. “It’s like paying the money, getting into it, conduct a small experiment and come back. That’s one part of it,” he said.

Another model is to make a crew module indigenously and use a man-rate vehicle (rocket) of a foreign space agency, and the third option for India is to develop the rocket and associated technologies on its own and undertake the mission.

“All these things are there. The question is how much technology you will earn, what benefit you will get out of it (in case of collaboration). One has to weigh it because you (India) must have a long-term programme for it (human space flights). We are not doing for the sake of doing it (the human space flight mission) actually,” Mr. Radhakrishnan said….

Asked if ISRO would initiate discussions with US and Russian space agencies for possible collaboration, he said, “All these discussions will take place,” and added that the entire space community is generally interested in such programmes (internationally).

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