China and Russia Announce Joint Mars Mission
China has announced that it will be entering a joint venture with Russia to send a satellite to survey Mars.
China and Russia will mount a joint effort to explore Mars and one of its moons in 2009, Chinese state media reported on Wednesday following an agreement to boost cooperation between the two ambitious space powers.
A Russian rocket will lift a Chinese satellite and Russian exploration vehicle to survey Mars and Phobos, the innermost and biggest of the red planet’s moons, the China Daily reported, citing China’s National Space Administration.
The announcement followed an agreement signed on Monday in Moscow, where Chinese President Hu Jintao has been visiting.
I know I’m not alone in really, really hoping that this ends up sparking a space race to put a man on Mars first. Space exploration could sorely use that kind of boost right now. Even better would be if all the governments involved lose that race to a private company.