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Mars exploration technologies should be tested on Moon and asteroids, experts say

January 28, 2014, 15:00 UTC+3
In the nearest future, Mars would be a priority in terms of colonization and research
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Image taken by NASA Curiosity rover's 100-millimeter Mast Camera on August 23, 2012

Image taken by NASA Curiosity rover's 100-millimeter Mast Camera on August 23, 2012

© EPA/NASA JPL CALTECH MSSS/HANDOUT

MOSCOW, January 28. /ITAR-TASS/. The human path to Mars should lay through consistent development of space technologies on asteroids and on the Moon. This view expressed the President of RSC Energia Vitaly Lopota and head of Lavochkin Association Viktor Khartov at the Korolyov Readings in Bauman Moscow State Technical University on Tuesday.

According to Lopota, in the nearest future, Mars would be a priority in terms of colonization and research. The road map of Mars exploration contemplates two scenarios: to reach it through an asteroid and then through the Moon, or vice versa.

“The wise way is to create technology designed for Mars, to use the Moon for testing the required technologies, and the asteroids are a challenge that we should always be able to meet in case of threat,” the expert noted.

Meanwhile, Khartov believes that first people should learn how to bring soil from Mars and its satellite Phobos. According to the plan announced by the scientist, the Boomerang project should feature the following pattern of bringing soil from Phobos: a space vehicle delivers on the satellite of Mars a lander that takes soil samples and “shoots upwards a capsule with soil”, which is picked up by another space vehicle near Phobos that sends it to Earth.

The scientist added that this scheme is almost the only possible one to solve the issue of bringing Martial soil to Earth.

The implementation of the Boomerang project is planned for approximately 2020. This project is the first stage of a more large-scale plan dubbed Expedition M, which is scheduled for launch in 2024. It is intended to deliver on Mars a fly-back rocket that would put into orbit a capsule with soil to be picked up by another space vehicle and brought to Earth.

Khartov also recalled that up from 2016, Russia would start its Moon program that should result in bringing Moon soil to Earth.

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