Russian Federation to send space mission to Moon, Mars, - Putin

NASA begins assembly, test, and launch operations for Mars 2020 rover

In addition, as part of another Moon exploration project, Russian Federation scientists will try to land spacecraft on lunar poles, President Putin said. We'll be able to explore the further space from the Moon, and then we can explore Mars.

"The first one will be very soon, in the year 2019".

Mars 2020 is targeted for launch in July 2020 aboard an Atlas V 541 rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

He also said Russian Federation would try to land on the poles of the moon "because there's reason to believe that water could be there".

The statement comes ahead of Sunday's presidential election, in which he will nearly certainly win a fourth term.

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"There are reasons to believe there is water there", the Russian leader said. "There is research to be done there and, from there, studies of other planets and distant outer space can be implemented". The 2016 Schiaparelli EDM lander mission was part of a joint program by Russia's Roscosmos and the European Space Agency, and utilized a Russian rocket.

The announcement comes after NASA unveiled its own £1.5billion ($2.1 bn) Mars exploration bid.

NASA hopes the mission will help to answer key questions about the potential for life on Mars.

Those missions include the Ranger missions to the moon (the first time America reached out and touched the moon), the Mariner mission to Venus (the first spacecraft to successfully encounter another planet) and Mars rovers. The idea is to send an unmanned spaceship to Mars first.

The mission also provides opportunities to gather knowledge and demonstrate technologies that address the challenges of future human expeditions to Mars, including producing oxygen from the Martian atmosphere, and identifying water.

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