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Russia to launch missions to Mars in 2019, says Putin

  • Vladimir Putin has unveiled Russia ‘s plan to launch a series of missions to Mars
  • Russian President said programme will start with an unmanned launch in 2019
  • The announcement comes just days before the country’s presidential elections
  • Comes after NASA unveiled its own £1.5billion Mars 2020 exploration mission

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.’

Russian President Vladimir Putin (pictured) 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 - before later manned missions to explore the Red Planet (file picture)

The Russian President said the space programme would start with an unmanned launch in 2019 – before later manned missions to explore the Red Planet (file picture)

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.’

The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA's Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. 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

The Mars 2020 mission is part of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, a long-term effort of robotic exploration of the red planet. 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

It comes after NASA unveiled its own £1.5billion 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. 

 



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