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Russia claims to be ahead in race to put man on Mars

what race?
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Jan 8, 2008
Russia is leading the race to complete a manned mission to Mars and could land a Russian on the Red Planet by 2025, a leading scientist was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

"We have something of a head start in this race as we have the most experience in piloted space flight," the director of the prestigious Space Research Institute, Lev Zelyony, told Interfax news agency on Tuesday.

The goal of becoming the first country to land a human on Mars is "technically and economically achievable" by 2025, he said.

Mars is the most prestigious prize for the Russian space industry if it wants to boost the country's "scientific and political prestige" through manned space flight, he said.

"We lost the race to the moon," Zelyony said.

The United States achieved that goal on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon.

The last manned US mission to the moon was the December 1972 flight of Apollo 17.

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The Appeal Of Mars
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Nov 12, 2007
Despite the numerous technical and medical-biological problems it would face, a manned mission to Mars is being spoken about with more and more certainty. Yet it is unclear why we should take such great risks to land astronauts on the Red Planet. Nor do we know whether the huge costs of such an expedition would ever be recouped.









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