Russian president Vladimir Putin has revealed his country’s plans to conquer Mars. It will take off with an unmanned launch to the Red Planet in 2019, and extend to manned launches at a later date. These will be an extension of programs related to exploration of the moon and Mars. The exercise will explore the polar regions of the moon in search of water.

NASA plans to send its unmanned mission to Mars in 2020, and Russia will get a one-year head start with its launch in 2019.

According to Daily Mail UK, these plans have been disclosed by the Russian president during an interview before the presidential elections.

Russia’s space agency, Roscosmos is tying up with the European Space Agency for the ExoMars rover mission.

It will be a tough race

Russia had earlier set 2020 as its target for a Mars mission but has now advanced it by a year. The primary objective will be to search for signs of any form of life on the distant planet. This is similar to the assignments of the Curiosity rover sent by NASA which has been working 24X7 for more than five years. Probably Roscosmos will land its rover in another location and explore a different region.

Both the United States and Russia are partners in the International Space Station and have adequate expertise in space research. It is possible that the Russian rover could come up with new information pertaining to the Red planet that could help humans to establish colonies.

Colonization of Mars

NASA has tentatively set July/August 2020 for the launch of its probe under the Mars Exploration Program. That is the time when Earth and Mars will be in the best relative position for a landing on Mars. It would be a robotic exploration, and its purpose would be to gather knowledge before going in for human colonization of the Red Planet.

Daily Star UK adds that Russia and the United States have always dominated the world of space exploration. The former had launched the first satellite and put the first man into space, while the latter put the first man on the moon.

Space reports that NASA had sent a team of six types of research to spend eight months in total isolation inside a dome on Hawaii.

It was near Mauna Loa, the world's largest active volcano, and was a part of the Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation HI-SEAS exercise. The team consisted of four men and two women, and whenever they went outside the dome, they had to wear spacesuits. These are preparatory activities that NASA has undertaken before actual human missions. There is no information on whether Roscosmos is working on similar lines.