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Author`s name Michael Simpson

Following US, Russia Revives Mars Program

Russia needs less money than US for reviving of the Mars program
Deputy Head of Rosaviakosmos space bureau Nikolay Moiseyev told ITAR-TASS news agency that Russia was considering recommencement of Moon and Mars exploration programs. He says that the federal space program for the period till 2015 is to be developed before the end of the year. The projects for Moon and Mars exploration may be part of the federal program. According to Nikolay Moiseyev, scientists suggest lots of initiatives concerning organization of expeditions to Moon and Mars, but it is not clear which one is to become part of the federal program.

First Deputy Director General of the Lavochkin Research Industrial Association Roald Kremnev says that Russia may revive the Moon program within several years. "After the Soviet Moon exploration program was suspended at the end of the 1970s, Russia has been keeping up space research and technical achievements in accordance with the modern standards within the past 30 years." He adds that the enterprise that had produced the legendary Moon research vehicle has achieved some progress in development of lunar automated machines.
 
Roald Kremnev says that if Russia decides to revive the Moon program, it will take a year to make a draft of a new Moon research vehicle and 2-3 years more for making the machine. Creation and launching of such a device may cost 600 million rubles, the expert says.  What is more, Roald Kremnev believes that manned flights to Moon may be performed with high-powered carrier rocket Energia (Energy) that was created at the Space Corporation Energia special for Russia's first shuttle Buran.  Automated devices may be employed to deliver equipment and carriers to Moon for further construction of permanent bases there. The Russian side is ready to produce robots that will be able to build temporary residential complexes on Moon. 
 
Roald Kremnev thinks it makes sense to settle on Moon maintaining close cooperation with other countries, the same way it is realized in the project of the International Space Station.  
 
Member of the Space Council in the Russian Academy of Sciences, Academician Erik Galimov thinks that lunar sources of energy may save our planet from global energy crisis. The scientist says that tritium extracted on Moon and delivered to Earth may be used for nuclear fusion. What is more, Erik Galimov supposes that Moon may serve an outpost for exploration of the remote space, a basis for monitoring of planetoid danger and for control over critical situations on this planet. 
 
Russia's manned expedition to Mars may start in ten years already. The Space Corporation Energia states that a draft of a shuttle for delivery of people to the red planet and back to Earth has been already developed.

Leonid Gorshkov, a designer from Energia says that people will have technical opportunities to go to Mars in 2014.  For realization of the project, Russians need $15 billion, the sum is ten times less than that requested by Americans for the same purpose. 
 
The US president has suggested sending a mission to Moon by 2015 and creating a base station there for a further manned mission to Mars. Main objective of the ambitious program recently announced by the American president is to mark a beginning of a new era in space exploration.
 
The American president says that time has come for the US to take the next step in space exploration. He delivered a speech at the NASA headquarters. To perform its future missions, the US must develop a new manned research spaceship that is to be tested in 2008 for the first time. New space vehicles will replace shuttles in the nearest future.

George W. Bush assures that first of all the US will carry out its commitments with respect to 15 partners participating in creation of the International Space Station. Then, the American policy will be focused on organization of manned missions to Moon and Mars. The first mission is scheduled for 2014, and pilots must be back to Moon within 2015-2020.  
 
The American president says that astronauts will be able to live and work on Moon within a long period of time which will make other ambitious missions cheaper. In this case the natural satellite of Earth will become a platform for launching manned spaceships to Mars.  

In connection with the program, George W. Bush suggested extending the NASA budget by 5 per cent annually within three years and then by 1 per cent every year. The White House has estimated that realization of the program will require additional $1 billion within the next 5 years.
 
ITAR-TASS, Interfax