The Russian space program outlines its plans for the moon and Mars

The head of the Russian Federal Space Agency announced plans to launch a manned mission to the moon by 2025 and a permanent lunar base by 2032.  

"According to our estimates, we will be ready for a manned flight to the moon in 2025," said Anatoly Perminov.  He further believes an "inhabited station" could be built on the moon between 2027 and 2032.  

Russia originally planned to partner with NASA for a joint moon mission, but the U.S. government shunned the proposal.  After finishing the Russian portion of the International Space Station within the next 10 years, Russia will then shift focus towards modernizing the Soyuz so it can head to the moon.

Russia has a general outline for the space program until 2040, although financial resources must now be properly calculated.

Other nations have publicly announced plans to launch manned missions to the moon in the next 20 years.  Aside from NASA and Russia, both China and Japan have plans to launch astronauts to the moon by 2022 and 2030.  A manned lunar base could be used as an ideal stepping stone for manned launches to the Red Planet of Mars.

The Russian space program and European Space Agency (ESA) are working together to simulate manned missions to the Red Planet - six chosen volunteers will be moved to a sealed capsule to help researchers study what effects the human body will go through over the journey to Mars.

Financial and logistical issues face all nations that have optimistic plans to one day be able to launch manned missions to Mars.  After appropriate spacecraft and supplies are built and acquired, the long journey and rough environment of Mars pose interesting challenges to engineers.

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