Saturday, August 20, 2011

Russia teams up with European Space Agency in bid to launch first manned mission to Mars - 19th Aug 2011

Just three weeks after Nasa's 30-year shuttle programme finally came to an end, it looks like the space race might already be back on.

Russia is teaming up with the European Space Agency (ESA) to launch the first manned mission to Mars.

Speaking at an air show at Zhukovsky, near Moscow, ESA chief Jean-Jacques Dordain said his agency and Roskosmos will 'carry out the first flight to Mars together'.

No timetable has been set yet and it remains unclear on what or whose craft the astronauts would travel.

But it is thought this week's record-breaking success of the Mars500 project has boosted confidence.

That crew have now spent 442 days in isolation as they 'journey' to the Red Planet - long enough for them to have made 73 return trips to the moon. Read More