14 Dec : An Indian astronaut will embark on a mission to space in a Russian spacecraft within the next five years, nearly three decades after Rakesh Sharma undertook the historic flight. This mission, tentatively scheduled for 2013, will be the precursor to Indian Space Research Organisation’s (ISRO) maiden human spaceflight planned to be launched in 2015. I
ndia and Russia signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Joint Activities in the Field of Human Spaceflight Programme during the recent visit of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. ISRO Chairman G Madhavan Nair told PTI that as per the agreement, an Indian astronaut will first go on a space mission on a Russian spacecraft. This will be followed by an Indian manned mission to space in 2015. Under the MoU signed by Nair and his Russian counterpart Anatoly Perminov, ISRO and Russian space agency Roskosmos will jointly build the spacecraft for the Indian manned mission.