Moscow: India and Russia may negotiate joint development of a new generation space shuttle sometime in January of the coming year, according to reports that quote top Russian space officials.
"India has expressed desire to participate in the development of a new reusable manned spaceship and from January next we will discuss this issue with the Energia Rocket and Space Corporation," chief of Russia's Federal Space Agency, Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov said.
Although Perminov has not identified the project, but it is likely that he was referring to the reusable spacecraft 'Kliper' (Clipper) which has been under development by the Energia Corporation. The Kliper is expected to replace Soviet-era Soyuz spaceships in that are still being used in Russia's national space programme.
Perminov made a mention of the fact that said India was Russia's privileged space partner with which it was working in different areas.
"With India we are interacting in carrier rockets, their components, dual use systems, global positioning system Glonass and mission control and ground tracking equipment," Perminov said here at a year-end news conference.
Just this week Russia launched three navigation satellites, which will operationalise the global navigation satellite system (GLONASS). India has been taken onboard to further develop the system. For both Russia and India a shift to Glonass will end dependence on the US-controlled Global Positioning System (GPS).
It may be pointed out that the GPS system was switched off twice to enable US strikes during the Balkan and Iraq wars.