Russia is not just working on expanding its territory across the globe but now it appears the country is also gunning for outer space conquest. According to new reports, Russia has claimed it may be the first in the world to reach Mars in just six weeks thanks to a new spaceship. Has Russia beaten NASA?
Several countries are working on extending space exploration to Mars. These include Russia, China, European Space Agency and the United States. Previously, NASA said that it will take them around three months to send people to the red planet given its technology. Russia may just have gotten one up as a new potential super-fast spaceship could get humans on Mars presumably half the time, according to a report from Express.
It was in 2010 when Vladimir Putin‘s space agency, RosCosmos, started the project. Nonetheless, Rosatom now stepped in place. The project’s deadline is 2018 so it should be just a matter of time before people can see cosmonauts exploring Mars.
“A nuclear power unit makes it possible to reach Mars in a matter of one to one and a half months, providing capability for maneuvering and acceleration,” Express quoted Sergey Kirienko, head of Rosatom. “Today’s engines can only reach Mars in a year and a half, without the possibility of return,” the official added. It is still not clear whether the option is possible or successful. The highly confidential nature of the project prevents further inspection or evaluation.
On other news, despite the rising political tensions between Russia and Europe, the space arms of both countries are working together on their Martian endeavor. Russian Proton-M rocket carrying Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) orbital module and Schiaparelli lander module is expected to launch on March 14 from Baikonur cosmodrome. Kronen Zeitung (via Sputnik) said that the launch is part of the project ExoMars. Once the rocket reaches the red planet, it will deploy a TGO to serve as a scientific satellite, monitoring Mars’ atmosphere and other elements.