The Russian MARPOST plan in its simplest form, to me, sounds like a great idea: Establish a manned orbital presence around Mars before deploying humans to the surface.

The Wikipedia article says that the plan was to have the design ready by 2012 and the ship ready by 2021, but it has no current information.

Is this mission still in the works or has it been canned? If it is still going, is it on schedule?

Why hasn't this sort of plan been considered by others? If it has, why hasn't it caught on?

  • $\begingroup$ Outbound time-days: 415 Mars Stay Time-days: 30 Return Time-days: 285 Total Mission Time-days: 730 $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Apr 1, 2014 at 16:29
  • $\begingroup$ OOPS CUTOFF ABOVE! I know of "Inspiration Mars", a planned 500 days mission to use a Mars free return orbit. Their budget/schedule is very overambitious. MARPOST seems to be the idea to spend total mission time: 730 days, whereof 30 in Mars orbit. What's the value of near-remote controlling robots on Mars surface during 30 days? They too would be out of radio contact with surface robots half the time anyway. I don't see any rational for sending humans to Mars without landing on it in order to vastly improve science and reduce gravity and radiation issues. I'm sure it's a scifi phantasy. $\endgroup$
    – LocalFluff
    Apr 1, 2014 at 16:34
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    $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff The actual details of the MARPOST plan may not be viable, but that is not my concern. I am concerned with A) Is Russia still pursuing it? B) Have any other plans been made to establish a manned orbital presence around Mars before deploying humans to the surface? $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Apr 1, 2014 at 16:36
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    $\begingroup$ In general with these sorts of missions, if you can't find anything in the news about them, they're not happening/going to happen. $\endgroup$
    – Nickolai
    Apr 1, 2014 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ @LocalFluff They probably remember what the Bogdanovists did there in Red Mars :-) $\endgroup$
    – Dan Hulme
    Apr 2, 2014 at 10:39

1 Answer 1


Wikipedia article says

but the wikipedia itself is not "reliable source" of information.

I will try to list several sources about MARPOST (russian МАРПОСТ) here. 4 sources from wiki article:

So, next proposed manned martian mission is "MEK" ("Межпланетный Экспедиционный Комплекс" = "Mezhplanetniy Ekspeditsioniy Komplex", Interplanetary Expeditionary Complex). There were no news about MARPOST in 2010-2013 in russian segment of internet (The Runet), but there are several news about "Межпланетный Экспедиционный Комплекс":

  • RIA, 08/2010 На околоземной орбите построят межпланетный экспедиционный комплекс (Interplanetary Expeditionary Complex will be built at near-earth orbit): "Разрабатываемая РКК "Энергия" концепция развития космической деятельности на Марсе в период до 2040 года предполагает создание пилотируемого межпланетного экспедиционного комплекса (МЭК) непосредственно на околоземной орбите" (The concept of development space activity on Mars /and Moon/ in period up to 2040, which is developing in RKK Energiya, suggests building manned Interplanetary Expeditionary Complex on the orbit of Earth). The newspost cites next article:
  • 07/2010, "Космическая миссия поколений XXI века" (V.A. Lopota. Space Mission Of 21st Century Generations) from magazine "Полёт" pages 3-12. Launch and flight testing of nuclear reactor for various missions, including IEC, was planned to start in 2020.

Martian mission concept on the website of RKK Energiya (http://www.energia.ru/english/energia/mars/concept.html - FEATURES OF RSC ENERGIA'S MARTIAN MISSION CONCEPT) lists no any dates.

  • $\begingroup$ I didn't assume Wikipedia to be reliable. From what you linked it seems as recently as 2010 there is talk of MEK moving forward some time before 2040. That is a considerably more vague plan. Thanks for the information. $\endgroup$
    – called2voyage
    Apr 1, 2014 at 21:25

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