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Russia, US to Jointly Prepare Mars, Moon Flight Road Map – NASA

© NASA . Goddard Space Flight Center This artist's concept shows the MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars.
This artist's concept shows the MAVEN spacecraft orbiting Mars. - Sputnik International
Russia and the United States will work together on a roadmap to send humans to Mars and the Moon, according to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden.

General director of the United Rocket and Space Corporation Igor Komarov - Sputnik International
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The Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos and its US counterpart NASA will jointly hammer out a "road map" program on flights to Mars and the Moon, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said on Saturday.

Bolden, who is currently on a tour of Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, added that he had discussed joint efforts to send missions to the Red Planet with Roscosmos head Igor Komarov, including time frames and funding.

"Our area of cooperation will be Mars. We are discussing how best to use the resources, the finance, we are setting time frames and distributing efforts in order to avoid duplication," Bolden said.

The NASA chief also pledged to put US astronauts back on the Moon, saying that his country never abandoned its hope of a comeback.

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Bolden added that in the future, NASA is planning "to attract more private developers to our joint exploration projects of the Moon and Mars," as well as initiate an ambitious program to harvest minerals from an asteroid.

NASA announced the extension of cooperation with its International Space Station partners, including Russia, for another nine years in February.

The US-Russia cooperation on the development of the international Space Station is under way despite the fact that NASA halted the majority of its joint activities with Russia over the Ukraine crisis in April 2014.

The last US mission to the Moon was Apollo 17; its astronauts returned to Earth from its closest neighbor on December 19, 1972.

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