In an interview with Malaysia’s Daily Express, Dr Igor V. Sorokin of the S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia said that the Soviet Union was in the advanced states of planning a human Mars mission before the country collapsed:
As to who would be able to send the first human to planet Mars, he believed that Russia would be ahead.
“Why not? During the Soviet Union era, I was a participant in the Martian project towards the end of the 1980s,” he said.
During that period, he said they completely developed the drawings for the system of the nuclear-powered space vehicle. As a team-member, he said he was responsible for the radar control of the landing system of the Mars Piloted Lander.
He said they were almost ready to accomplish the feat but unfortunately in 1990, due to upheaval in the then Soviet Union, this plan was scrapped.
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