Tag Archives: Mars500

NASA is considering doing a simulated 500 day Mars mission on ISS.

Hallelujah! NASA is considering doing a simulated 500 day Mars mission on ISS.

The Russians want to do this badly, and have been pressing NASA to go along, with no luck, for more than a decade. That it took that long for NASA to finally realize the need tells us much about the American space agency.

The head of Russia’s space agency makes news again

The following stories are all the result of statements made by Vladimir Popovkin, the head of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal space agency, during a radio interview yesterday.

This is the same guy that only a few weeks ago was throwing accusations at the U.S. for the failure of Phobos-Grunt.

What should we make of these statements? First, everything Popovkin says is aimed at fund-raising. Whatever his background, he is a political appointee whose job is to generate interest and funding for Russia’s space program. Everything he says in public must be weighed against this reality. That he first tried to shift the blame to the U.S. for Phobos-Grunt’s loss was an effort to absolve his program from any blame and thus reduce the possibility that the Russian government might cut his funding. Now that his agency has gotten approval of its insurance payment for the failure, however, he is free to say otherwise.

Second, these announcements give us a clear indication of where the Russia space effort is heading, and that effort looks both thoughtful and intelligent.
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