Russia and Europe plan a manned mission to Mars The Voice of Russia

Europe will carry out the first manned mission to Mars together with Russia. Head of the European Space Agency Jean-Jacques Dordain stated this when he visited the International Aviation and Space Salon, MAKS-2011, now under way in Zhukovsky near Moscow. He gave no timeframe, but head of the Russian Space Agency Vladimir Popovkin welcomed his European counterpart’s idea concerning the coordination of the future project.
The dream of human beings going to Mars has a long history, and at present, mankind is very close to implement such a project. Some time ago, an interest in the planet was linked to the possibility of encountering with humanoids. Later, it became clear that the probability of such a meeting is almost zero, although some kind of life could be found there. The significance of a manned mission to Mars is beyond the search for extraterrestrial life. According to scientists, Mars is the only promising planet in the Solar System from the standpoint of colonization. Perhaps, this may be the reason why the U.S. has declared a manned mission to Mars a national programme.