NASA Begins Pre-Launch Assembly Of The 2020 Mars Spacecraft

A technician works on the descent stage for NASA's Mars 2020 mission inside JPL's Spacecraft Assembly Facility. Mars 2020 is slated to carry NASA's next Mars rover to the Red Planet in July of 2020

NASA Begins Pre-Launch Assembly Of The 2020 Mars Spacecraft

Russia will launch an unmanned mission to Mars in 2019, and later, the Russian specialists will try to make landings on the poles of the Moon, according to a statement made by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The rover's design is an upgrade to the predecessor Curiosity rover now exploring the surface of Mars.

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Vladimir Putin revealed his country's space plans during a documentary about the president which was widely shared on social media.

In 2021, Luna-26 will be sent to the Moon, while Luna-27 will arrive there in 2022 and drill the Moon's surface up to 6.5 feet deep and examine its composition.The manned missions will follow the unmanned ones.Russian Federation will also look fro traces of life on the mars together with the European Space Agency. "Exploration of other planets, of the deep space may begin from there", Putin said.

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"We are planning unmanned and later manned launches - into deep space, as part of a lunar program and for Mars exploration". Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX, recently said that he plans to start testing the BFR, the ship that might take humans to Mars, a bit earlier than anticipated, completing the first test flights by early 2019.

Putin did not specify when in 2019 the Mars mission would happen. In 2011, the ill-fated Phobos-Grunt probe was unable to be fired toward the orbit of the red planet after launch. NASA released imagery on October 2016 through the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter of what could be the landing site of the Schiaparelli lander. NASA also plans to send another unmanned mission to Mars in 2020 specifically to find signs of past microbial life. The space agency chose this date since this would be the best time to land a spacecraft on the red planet based on the position of Mars and Earth. It is likely that Scientists in Russian Federation may initiate their mission any time within the year, which will, off-course, place them ahead of the already planned NASA MARS Mission to be launched in July/August 2020. This phase is being carried out at the Spacecraft Assembly Facility High Bay 1 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

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