India, Russia to Conduct Joint Spaceflights

Russia Today has some details of the joint Indo-Russian cooperation program on human spaceflight:

An Indian-manned mission to space on a Russian spaceship is planned for 2013, which will be followed by a mission on an Indian-made spaceship in 2015.

In 2013, a Russian Soyuz space capsule redesigned for the Indian programme will spend about a week in low orbit with a two-man crew. Later on it will splash down in the Indian Ocean.

In using the Soyuz vehicle as the basis for its spacecraft, India is following the same path as its neighbor China,  which modeled its Shenzhou orbiter after the redoubtable Soviet-era spaceship. Soyuz has been flying for 42 years, the past 39 without a fatality.

This will mark the first Indian cosmonaut in space since the flight of Rakesh Sharma, who flew to the Soviet Salyut 7 space station in April 1984. It also represents growing ties between India and Russia.

In addition, the India-Russia Centre for Technology Transfer was recently established to co-ordinate collaboration in space exploration.

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