Putin has big plans for Russia's space program. Image Credit: CC BY 4.0 Kremlin.ru
During a recent televised interview, Putin revealed that Russia is planning to launch a series of space missions.
The announcement, which has come days before the Russian presidential election and at a time when the eyes of the world are on the country following the poisoning of a former spy in Salisbury, suggests that Russia is still firmly committed to its space exploration program.
Its space agency, Roscosmos, will also be keen to make up lost ground after the failure of its Phobos-Grunt Mars probe which launched in 2011 with the goal of collecting a sample of soil from the Martian moon Phobos and then returning it to Earth for further study.
"We are planning unmanned and later manned launches - into deep space, as part of a lunar program and for Mars exploration," Putin said in a state television film about his 18 years in power. "The closest mission is very soon, we are planning to launch a mission to Mars in 2019."
He also hinted at plans to land cosmonauts on the Moon and to eventually set up a base there.
"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," he said.
Source: IB Times | Comments (6)