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India, Russia working on legal framework for space programme

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MOSCOW (PTI): India and Russia are working to put in place a legal framework for their cooperation in ISRO's manned space programme, which involves use of Russian 'Soyuz' spaceship, a top official has said.

"We are currently in talks with the Indian side for cooperation in some stages of their manned space mission programme, which not only involves the use of Russian 'Soyuz' space ship, but also the development of Indian space ship and launch vehicles," Head of the Federal Space Agency 'Roskosmos' Anatoly Perminov told Voice of Russia Radio.

"Some of the issues require clearance from our government, that's why we are working on the legal framework of the project," Perminov added.

During President Dmitry Medvedev's New Delhi visit in December 2008, ISRO and Roskosmos had signed a MoU for cooperation in the Indian manned space programme and the talks are underway for acquiring a Soyuz spaceship, which would take two Indian astronauts on an orbital mission under the command of a Russian cosmonaut.

Perminov said the implementation of manned space programme by India would take many more years.

"A lot has to be done to put in place ground facilities before beginning manned missions from the Indian soil," Perminov said.

According to earlier reports ISRO has sought Russia's help in developing a spaceship lighter than the "Soyuz", which could be adopted for launch aboard lighter Indian space launch vehicles.

Any Russian involvement in helping India in developing heavier space launch vehicles would be seen as violation of Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) by Moscow, like in case of cryogenic deal, which was scrapped in 1993 under the US pressure.

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