India to buy Russian rocket engines for its space program
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New Delhi has plans to purchase rocket engines from Moscow for its growing national space program, Russia’s deputy prime minister said. The announcement follows the successful launch of a new Indian expedition to the Moon.
Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov told reporters in New Delhi on Monday about the planned rocket sales, and recognized India’s achievement in its latest mission to explore the Moon, according to the RIA news agency.
“Today we congratulated our Indian colleagues on the successful launch of the lunar program,” Borisov said, adding that the two countries would work together on manned space flights in the future. He didn’t provide further details about the rocket engine sales.
The launch of India’s Chandrayaan-2 spacecraft marks the beginning of the country’s second lunar mission, the first of which concluded in 2008, when India became the fourth nation to land a probe on Earth’s sole natural satellite. Though the first mission featured a deliberate crash-landing of a probe, the Chandrayaan-2 will attempt to safely land a rover vehicle on the moon’s surface, where it will explore a little-known region and send photos back to Earth.
The United States, currently without its own modern shuttlecraft, also relies on Russian rocketry for its space flights. Though plans are in place to develop a new American craft through private contractors SpaceX and Boeing, in the meantime NASA depends on the Russian-made Soyuz rocket system to get its astronauts into orbit.
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