Russia says it's ahead in a new, 2008-style space race.
Russia says it's only 16 years away from putting a man on Mars.
"We have something of a head start in this race as we have the most experience in piloted space flight," the director of the prestigious Space Research Institute, Lev Zelyony, told Interfax news agency on Tuesday.
The goal of becoming the first country to land a human on Mars is "technically and economically achievable" by 2025, he said.
Mars is the most prestigious prize for the Russian space industry if it wants to boost the country's "scientific and political prestige" through manned space flight, he said.
"We lost the race to the moon," Zelyony said.
The United States achieved that goal on July 20, 1969, when Apollo 11 commander Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon.
The last manned US mission to the moon was the December 1972 flight of Apollo 17.
How seriously should the U.S. take the threat of Russia putting the first man on Mars?
One remembers another Russian threat. That one was uttered by Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1956.
"We will bury you."
Source: Russia says it's ahead in race to put man on Mars
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