Mir-less Russians look to Mars Scripps Howard News Service

With the demise of their beloved Mir space station, Russians have begun debating a new national dream: a patriotic project to mount a manned flight to Mars. Even as they watched Mir sink into oblivion in the Pacific Ocean yesterday, cosmonauts and space scientists were promoting the idea of a Russian-led mission to Mars. Russian flight controllers guided Mir to a perfect splashdown in an unpopulated section of the South Pacific early yesterday. The successful feat, hitting the target area with pinpoint accuracy, helped convince some Russians the country should begin planning a more ambitious interplanetary project.