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Russians conquered Mars 30 years ago
An ambitious space program of the US voiced by President Bush at the start of his pre-election race has revived the interest of mankind to space that faded away within the past years
People have got so much used to the issue of space that it is somewhat boring for us. This is the reason why majority of us are not aware of unique projects carried out by Russian scientists, engineers and investigators. In fact, preparation for a manned flight to Mars started in Russia 30 years ago. One of the program's final stages - imitation of a flight in a special surface complex - is to take place next year. Preparation for the final stage has already started.
The long-expected space flight will take place on a bright summer, autumn or winter morning of 2005 on the outskirts of Moscow. Astronauts will take their seats, the head of the project will say go and the first in the world history manned expedition to Mars will begin.
This makes no sense that the astronauts will be sitting in a spaceship called a surface experimental complex that scientists themselves call a barrel. The complex was invented by Sergey Korolev. Since those times, generations of investigators have tested the complex to find out what real astronauts feel being in the orbit. This time in the framework of the experiment the astronauts will reach Mars and get back to this planet; the experimental flight will last about 500 days.
However, even before the experimental flight begins researchers must find answers to essential questions: what will be the physical and mental state of the crew, how the autonomous life-support systems will operate and what problems the crew may come across.
Department director of the Institute for Medical and Biological Problems Mark Belakovsky says that the concept of the prospective flight is being polished up currently. Negotiations on participation of other countries in the experiment have been started, so the expedition will be an international one. The crew will highly likely consist of six male investigators: a captain, a pilot, a flight engineer, two expert investigators and a doctor. Technical workers of the Institute are making the complex ready for the mission.