Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia will launch a mission to search for extraterrestrial life on Mars in 2019, surpassing NASA’s planned mission by 2020.
Putin revealed his country’s ambitious space plans during a documentary about his presidency that was widely Shared on Russian social networks.
Newsweek.com reports: He said: “We are planning manned and unmanned launches, in deep space, as part of a lunar program and for the exploration of Mars. The closest mission is very soon, we are planning to launch a mission to Mars in 2019 “.
The revelation during a documentary about the president presented by Andrey Kondrashov arrives just after NASA’s announcement that he would try to explore the red planet on a mission to Mars by 2020 in which he would investigate the potential of life.
Putin, who is expected to be reelected as president in the elections, said Russia would also launch a mission to the polar regions of the Moon, adding that his lunar program would be different from what his country undertook in the former Soviet Union.
“Our specialists will try to land at the poles, because there is reason to believe that there may be water there. There, progress can be made in the studies of other planets, the distant space can be started from there,” Putin said in the documentary.
Putin did not specify the exact date in 2019 for the mission to Mars. NASA’s mission is expected to take place around July and August 2020, when positions between Earth and Mars are best placed for a landing.
The race to the red planet is intensifying, with billionaire businessman Elon Musk saying Sunday that his SpaceX Mars rocket could be ready for test flights next year.
He had previously stated that his ambition was to launch cargo flights by 2022, as well as China, which has plans to reach the red planet by 2020.
Who will get their first? Hopefully, we will soon find out.