ZHUKOVSKY (Moscow region), August 17 (RIA Novosti)
- China's Mars 'expedition' participant celebrates birthday
- Mars 500 mission: one year on
- Mars flight possible after 2035 - Roscosmos chief
- Mars500 stimulated mission 'lands' on Red Planet
- Mars-500 crew to simulate landing on Red Planet
- The Mars-500 project reaches the halfway mark
- Dry rations and karaoke: Relaxing in the Mars-500 project module
- “Marsonauts” take their first walk on “Mars”
- Participants of the Mars-500 experiment sent away with applause
- Mars-500 crew surviving in extreme conditions
- The Russian scientific project Mars-500
With just months to go before the end of a Moscow-based simulated journey to Mars, the European Space Agency (ESA) head said on Wednesday a joint mission with Russia to the Red Planet was in the pipeline.
Speaking to reporters at an air show near Moscow on Wednesday, ESA head Jean-Jacques Dordain said ESA and Russia's Roskosmos space agency would "carry out the first flight to Mars together."
Dordain said it was too early to define a timeframe, but added that the Mars500 project was a factor in the preparation for a real mission to Mars. The 520-day simulated Mars500 project, run by Russia's Institute of Biomedical Problems with ESA's participation, aims to investigate just how well humans can cope with a return trip to the Red Planet. The six crew members are due "to return to Earth" in November.
Experts say a manned journey to Mars is still decades away because of the technological and financial challenges involved.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.