December 8, 2012
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Russia is ready and willing to partner with the United States for a manned mission to Mars, a senior Russian space official said recently.
And while NASA has not yet entered into any formal agreement to pursue the Red Planet, the agency's chief agrees that international cooperation is the way to do it.
"I have to say that currently there is no country that could organize a manned spaceflight to Mars and a safe return," Sergey Saveliev, the deputy head of Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), said April 12 at the United Nations headquarters here to mark theInternational Day of Human Space Flight.
"We strongly believe that this project can be accomplished only through international cooperation," Saveliev said through a translator. "In this field, Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States, with Europe and with other countries."
NASA chief Charles Bolden, who was also on hand at the event, agreed that collaboration is the way to go.
"We are absolutely trying to partner with everybody to go — anyone who wants to participate," Bolden told SPACE.com. "Our goal is to try to form international coalitions. Almost everything we do today has some international flavor to it, whether it's science flights, or human spaceflights. I think you'll find everything we do from here on out is probably going to be international in nature."
Not only will a manned trip to Mars come with a hefty price tag, but it will require some major advances in technology.
"In order to accomplish this mission, we have to develop new technologies, first of all, new propulsion technologies, as well as technologies to counter existing harms of spaceflight, like radiation," Saveliev said.
This still from a SpaceX mission concept video shows a Dragon space capsule landing on the surface of Mars. SpaceX's Dragon is a privately built space capsule to carry unmanned payloads, and eventually astronauts, into space.
NASA has no firm time frame to send humans to Mars, but the agency is starting up work on a huge new heavy-lift rocket that could travel there. The vehicle, called the Space Launch System(SLS), is designed to go beyond low-Earth orbit to the moon, asteroids and eventually Mars — all destinations beyond the reach of NASA's space shuttles, which retired last year.
The agency is aiming for a first flight of the Space Launch System in 2017.
International collaboration is already a strong feature of many nations' space programs, as going it alone can be prohibitively costly. The United States and Russia are currently partnering with Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency on the International Space Station, a weightless laboratory that cost $100 billion to build.
Bolden emphasized NASA's commitment to future collaboration as well.
As to Russia there has already been held an experimental flight conditions project. To learn more go to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MARS-500
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July 25, 2012
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April 17, 2012
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Last Sunday there was a “Hachiko” (2009) on TV and I knowing how touching and tragic this story is started to watch it. Of course I couldn’t stop crying when saw Hachiko coming to the station and looking for his master. I was imagining myself at the same situation and my heart was full of grief, melancholy, expectation and sadness. The dog didn’t want to stay in a warm house surrounded by good people but chose to wait for his master day by day till his life ended…that’s a true relation, true friendship and devotion which cannot be purchased by a bowl of food or a warm dog house. It’s an impressive movie and a touching story happened in real life.
In Russian culture we have a movie with a similar plot – “White Bim with black ear” (1977). It’s a story about a dog which went away in searches for his master who had been taken to hospital. The dog had many funny and sad adventures, met many good and cruel people but he was devoted to his master. Bim’s life ended at the kennel at the very moment when his master finally found him. But it was late. Bad people did what they considered as a right thing.
In our lives there are a great number of the similar stories when pets cannot forget their beloved owners and feel ready to sacrifice their lives or wait till the very end. Isn’t it amazing?
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