India and Beijing signed a strategic partnership agreement for the development of indigenous and manned spacecraft propulsion technologies at the International Space Station, Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said on Tuesday.
The agreement signed by Indian Minister of State for Space, Manoj Sinha and Chinese Deputy Chief of the People’s Liberation Army General Xu Yonghong on November 12 envisages cooperation between the two countries in the development and demonstration of indigenous spacecraft propulsion system.
According to ISRO, the space cooperation between India and the People Republic of China (PRC) was signed as part of a package of strategic partnership agreements, including those for joint development of the advanced rocket engines and spacecraft propulsion.ISRO had earlier in the year signed a contract with China for the use of the Shenzhou-11 space capsule to launch the GSLV Mk II rocket to the ISS.
The two countries are expected to launch their first crewed spacecraft, the Shenanxi 2, on the Shenandoah in late 2019.
The ISRO’s space cooperation with China is in line with the goals of India’s “Make in India” initiative, which aims to provide advanced technology to India in a bid to spur economic growth and employment.