Today is Cosmonaut Day in Russia. Which probably explains the spate of space-themed news articles coming out of Russia this weekend.
First up is the attempt by one enterprising company, Aerospace Systems, to re-ignite the space race. They plan to go to Mars before the Americans, and cheaper too. Mosnews.com reckon they’ll be there by 2009, but the American propaganda mouthpiece Associated Press are sounding a little more cautious – they estimate the Mars landing will be sometime in 2011. One thing they both agree on, however, is if the Russians can do it, they can do it cheaper. While the US program will cost between $14 and $30 billion, Russia can do it for a mere $3.5 billion.
When they get there, the Cosmonauts are going to need something to land in. Russian experts have a grudging respect for American landers (they did, after all, build the Eagle), calling them “reliable” but think that the cheaper Russian model will be far more “competitive.” That means cheaper, I think.
With all this upbeat news coming out of Star City, it’s no wonder Russians still think they are in the premier league when it comes to space…
Out of 1630 respondents, 52 percent said they see Russia as a major space power.
The spirit of Yuri Gagarin lives on!