Both Russia and NASA plan to reach Mars in the near future. However, Russia believes that they could be the first to reach Mars.
Vladimir Putin’s space agency, RosCosmos, originally started the project in 2010 but it has now been taken on by nuclear body Rosatom.
The project has a deadline of 2018, meaning there is a possibility that cosmonauts could become the first to get to Mars by the end of the decade if all goes to plan.
Sergey Kirienko, head of Rosatom, told RT: “A nuclear power unit makes it possible to reach Mars in a matter of one to one and a half months, providing capability for manoeuvring and acceleration.
Russia’s space agency revealed it is working on a spaceship that would get them to the Red Planet in just six weeks.
Today’s engines can only reach Mars in a year and a half, without the possibility of return.”
However, it remains unclear whether this is a plausible option and whether it will be successful as the technology is not open for inspection due to the highly confidential nature.
The announcement could be interpreted as a war of words with the US after NASA announced that it has plans in the pipeline to build a wafer-thin spaceship that could carry a robot to Mars in just three days.