Russia To Launch Missions To Mars NEXT YEAR As Part Of Bid To Colonise The Red Planet

Vladimir Putin has unveiled Russia's plan to launch a series of missions to Mars. The Russian President said the space programme would start with an unmanned launch in 2019 to explore the Red Planet. With days to go before presidential elections, he told a documentary: 'We are planning unmanned and later manned launches – into deep space, as part of a lunar program and for Mars exploration.

'The closest mission is very soon, we are planning to launch a mission to Mars in 2019.' The president revealed the plans in an interview shown in a new documentary by Andrey Kondrashov, it has emerged. He added that the lunar exploration programme would look at Polar Regions of the moon.

The Kremlin strongman, facing accusations his regime was behind the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury on March 4, added: 'Our specialists will try landing near the poles because there are reasons to expect water there. There is research to be done there, and from that, research of other planets and outer space can be undertaken.'

This is the first time news has emerged about the mission and Russia's next journey to the planet was previously expected to come in 2020.

Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos, and the European Space Agency are cooperating on the ExoMars rover mission. Its primary objective is to search for signs of microscopic life, whether living or fossilised, on the Red Planet. 

The initial stage of the mission, the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, entered orbit around Mars in October 2016, although an accompanying lander crashed. The announcement comes after NASA unveiled its own £1.5billion ($2.1 bn) Mars exploration bid.

The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. NASA hopes the mission will help to answer key questions about the potential for life on Mars. The mission also provides opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars, including producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, and identifying water.

The mission is timed for a launch in July/August 2020 when Earth and Mars are in good positions relative to each other for landing on Mars. 

Via Dailymail

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