News agencies have reported that Russian cosmonauts will go to Mars in 2005. Preparations for the flight are in full swing, and the participants of the expedition have already been chosen. There will allegedly be three of them. Their names have not been given for clear reasons. A spokesperson for Rosaviakosmos said that they do niot want journalists to hinder the the cosmonauts' preparations. The technical description of the spaceship is also not yet known, but according to the designers, it will be equipped properly. It is even planned to install laser blasters, which have been purchased from Japan. The blasters will protect the ship from a possible attack by Martians: scientists almost have no doubts of their existence.
The expedition will be funded by a pool of Russian and foreign businessmen. Their names are also secret, but it is known that one of them will also take part in the flight. The first space tourist Dennis Tito also expressed his wish to fly to Mars. Specialists say that the chances of his dream coming true are good.
NASA refused to comment on the information about the Russian expedition to Mars, but they said that they are studying the project with great interest. An American astronaut might possibly join the Russian cosomnauts, taking into account of the fact that Russia and the USA manage to settle economic discrepancies and Russia starts to import American poultry after April 10. America plans to spend money to help prepare for this grand project.
It is planned that the expedition will explore Mars on the subject of life on the red planet. There will also be geological survey performed: the expedition will search for oil and gas in the depths of Mars.
The expedition will start in the summer of 2005. The flight to Mars should be a real breakthrough in the field of space exploration. We will be carefully watching the development of these events and inform our readers about the latest details.
Stepan Perepelkin Exclusively for PRAVDA.Ru April 1, 2002
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov