Moscow, Mar 26 : India is planning to send one of its astronauts on a Russian spacecraft to acquire skills necessary for future manned space missions.
''India would like to have one of its astronauts trained in Russia and send him into space on board the Soyuz spacecraft,'' the RIA Novosti news agency quoted an Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) source, as saying.
According to the source, ISRO has been holding discussions with the Russian Federal Space Agency on the proposal, and has received a positive response.
India is on its way to successfully developing its space programme. In recent years, it has regularly launched satellites, using its own booster rockets.
India is planning to launch its first space shuttle in 2014. Its successful Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) -- a three-stage rocket with solid, liquid and cryo stages, would launch the vehicle. The GSLV can place 2,200 kilogram into the geostationary transfer orbit.
Rakesh Sharma was the first astronaut sent into space by India under the Soviet Intercosmos programme aboard the Soyuz T-11 spacecraft on April 2, 1984.