Russian Group Plans Men on Mars by 2011 AP

A group of Russian space experts on Friday announced an ambitious plan to send a six-man crew to Mars within a decade, a project it said would cost only $3.5 billion. Russian space officials dismissed the project as nonsense. A researcher at the Central Research Institute for Machine-Building, Russia’s premier authority on space equipment design, said it would carry out the project with funding promised by Aerospace Systems, a little-known private Russian company that says it draws no resources from the state budget.