Putin: Russia to send space mission to Moon, Mars

Putin: Russia to send space mission to Moon, Mars

In conclusion, Russian Federation will launch an unmanned mission to Mars in 2019 which will be followed by lunar missions and a manned mission to Mars.

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". This would beat the planned Nasa mission to the red planet by a year.

An image of the planet Mars, taken by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope. The NASA mission is expected to take place around July and August 2020 when the positions between Earth and Mars are best placed for a landing.

There will be the lunar program and then the Mars exploration program. "On the floor, you'll see the components of our spacecraft taking shape-put together by people who are the best in the world at what they do".

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.

Propulsion systems for the rover's cruise and descent stage main structures were installed over the course of the past few months.

Over the next year-and-a-half, engineers and technicians will add subsystems such as avionics, power, telecommunications, mechanisms, thermal systems and navigation systems onto the spacecraft. "Right now we are working the descent stage, and by fall we expect to be working on the rover itself".

David Gruel, ATLO Manager for Mars 2020, pointed out that some parts of the spacecraft are coming from the other side of the world while others are coming from buildings on the same street as High Bay 1.

Its primary objective is to search for signs of microscopic life, whether living or fossilised, on the Red Planet. Also, the unmanned nuclear-powered rover will study the Martian environment to help determine its suitability for supporting a future manned mission. NASA's Launch Services Program at Kennedy Space Center in Florida will manage and oversee the Atlas V launch service for Mars 2020.