Russia's Khrunichev research center plans to develop a new super-heavy carrier rocket that will be used to launch piloted spacecraft to Mars.
"The super-heavy carrier rocket will be based on the design of the Angara rocket and its modifications - Amur and Yenisei," Anatoly Kuzin, deputy general director of the Khrunichev State Research and Production Space Center, said.
Angara rockets, designed to provide lifting capabilities between 2,000 and 40,500 kg into low earth orbit, are expected to become the core of Russia's carrier rocket fleet, replacing several existing systems.
The rockets have a modular design similar to the Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV), based on a common Universal Rocket Module (URM).
Russia will start testing first Angara rockets in 2013, while the first piloted mission to Mars under a unified Moon-Mars program is expected to be launched in 2037.
MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti)