PRIVATE RUSSIAN COMPANY UNVEILED ALTERNATIVE PLANS OF SENDING A MANNED SPACE MISSION TO MARS
A private Russian company made public a conceptual design of a manned space mission to Mars. A space mission and landing of a crew of six onto the Red Planet is slated for 2009. A spacecraft is going to be equipped with video cameras to report the events onboard the vehicle to the ground in a real time mode. The plans were unveiled at a press conference in Moscow by Georgi Uspenski , who was speaking on behalf of one of the participants of the project. Uspenski is a section chief of the Central research institute of machine-building.
?For the first time ever a private company that has nothing to do with space industry has committed itself to finance such a huge project as a space mission to Mars,? said Uspenski. ?Being the specialists we can realize that the project is unlikely to be implemented within 5 years yet we believe that a good working design can be worked out so that the launch will get under way in 2013 or 2014,? said he.
Oleg Alexandrov, representing an undisclosed private company, said that the company was ready to finance the project in full. According to him, the project looks better that other similar projects in terms of costs and deadlines. He said that the cost of sending a national manned space mission to Mars would range from $4 to $5 billion which is substantially lower than costs demanded by other Russian companies, those were ranging from $14 to $30 billion. Alexandrov believes that costs can be cut dramatically by using available Russian-made rocket and space equipment. In the meantime, he couldn?t answer a question referring to specific backup modules his company was going to use for building a spaceship bound for Mars. He couldn?t confirm whether the company had necessary funds to cover the costs.
According to Uspenski, the project provides for construction of two large habitable modules with a docked inflatable module hosting a space greenhouse and a closed life support system. ?We want the complete the flight in 3 years. Though it?s going to be much more tougher for a crew in terms of psychological compatibility, it can work out right if cosmonauts can use two big living modules and a greenhouse,? said he.
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