ISRO to set up Technical Liaison Unit at Moscow

The Union Cabinet has approved the request of Indian Space Research Organization to set up a Technical Liasion unit in Moscow, Russia for the better co-ordination of joint Indo-Russian and other special Indian Space missions. The government has sanctioned an amount of INR 1.5 crore for the upkeep and maintenance of the ISRO’s Moscow unit.

Why the ISRO Technical Liasion Unit is being established?

  • The ISRO Technical Liasion Unit (ITLU) is being established at Moscow to help enable the technical co-ordination between the Indian and Russian Space organizations.
  • These programmatic targets for the ITLU include tracking the latest developments in research and technology and other avenues for multilateral cooperation.?
  • The ILTU will act on behalf of the ISRO in all matter referred to it for space cooperation.
  • It will also help support the ISRO’s Gaganyaan program for which the help of Russian companies is being taken for specialized training and equipment for the Indian astronauts.

Why Moscow?

  • Russia (Earlier the Soviet Union) has been one of the pioneers of space travel and their expertise in key aerospace technologies like rockets and cryogenic engines are unmatched by any other country.
  • India and Russia have collaborated from almost from the beginning of the Indian space program and both sides, have been actively pursuing varied programs in the space industry.
  • Russia has a host of aerospace companies which specialize in space travel (given that the first traveler to space was a Soviet- Yuri Gagarin) and is currently the only country with a reliable method of space transport in active service (the Soyuz Capsule).
  • Other countries in the Russian sphere of influence like Kazakhstan (home to the world’s first and largest spaceport- Baikonur) and Ukraine also have established space companies and the ILTU will look to explore avenues of collaboration with them.

Who will staff the ILTU?

The ILTU will be managed by an ISRO Scientist/Engineer on deputation. Other staff is to be hired locally from Russians.

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