The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration plans to send six astronauts on a 500-day mission to Mars, according to its final draft report on the Mars exploration program. U.S. President George W. Bush promoted a new vision for NASA’s space exploration in a speech he gave in January 2004. NASA is aiming to realize the mission before 2030. The human mission to Mars is planned to take 2-1/2 years for the round-trip and will comprise three sets of vehicles.
Manned U.S. mission to Mars by 2030 eyed The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japan, Russia discuss joint Mars mission The Yomiuri Shimbun
Japanese researchers, who gave up on an attempt to explore Mars last December, have begun planning another probe to the Red Planet in cooperation with Russia. Japanese researchers are exchanging information with their Russian counterparts, who will launch their own probe for the first time in 10 years, with an eye to the possibility of installing in the probe a small Japanese satellite that can orbit Mars to study the atmosphere.