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Nasa has released details of its strategy for sending a human crew to Mars within the next few decades.
The US space agency envisages despatching a "minimal" crew on a 30-month round trip to the Red Planet in a 400,000kg (880,000lb) spacecraft.
Details of the concept were outlined at a meeting in Houston, Texas.
The "Mars ship" would be assembled in low-Earth orbit using three to four Ares V rockets - the new heavy-lift launch vehicle that Nasa has been developing.