Russia approves space funding CNN

The Russian Cabinet on Tuesday approved a nine-year government program to expand its space programs, backing the ongoing development of the new Clipper spacecraft as well as building Russia’s segment of the international space station. In its statement, the Federal Space Agency did not say how much funding the programs would receive. But it said the government plans include a new project called the Phobos-Grunt, which will be sent to the Martian moon of Phobos to collect soil samples. By the end of 2006, the space agency will begin work on preparations for a manned trip to Mars.