Space Race: Putin Claims Russia Will Begin Exploring Mars and the Moon Next Year

Thursday, 15 March 2018 - 11:05AM
Space
Mars
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Thursday, 15 March 2018 - 11:05AM
Space Race: Putin Claims Russia Will Begin Exploring Mars and the Moon Next Year
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Image Credit: Pixbay Composite
Hot on the heels of NASA's plan to send the new Mars 2020 rover to the Red Planet, Vladimir Putin has announced that Russia will be launching a host of new space missions, including an unmanned probe that will head to Mars in 2019 to settle the question of Martian life once and for all.



According to Putin in a new 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." This will be in addition to Russia's cooperation on the ExoMars mission with the European Space Agency, which aims to identify any active or fossilized life on Mars. The ExoMars mission is currently delayed following the crash of the Schiaparelli lander, which was meant to prepare for the next stage of the mission: landing a rover on the planet.

But Russia's ambitions cover more than just Mars. Putin also wants to explore the Moon's polar regions. According to Putin, "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."

Russia has already announced plans to build an interplanetary space station near Venus, as well as to potentially partner with NASA on the new Deep Space Gateway being built near the Moon. Meanwhile, China has claimed that they will become the new leader in aerospace tech and space exploration over the next half-century. It looks like this new space race is going to be a three-way competition between Russia, China, and the US over who can establish themselves in the solar system the fastest and start mining those sweet, sweet asteroids.
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Putin Claims Russia Will Begin Exploring Mars and the Moon Next Year
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