Astronomical Research Center (A.R.C.) - Nojumi.org
Russian, European space agencies to team up for Mars mission
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.
The Astronomical Research center (A.R.C) mentioned that 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.