USA, the European Space Agency, China and Russia are currently embroiled in a new age space race to become the first to get to Mars.

As it stands, NASA says that it would take around three months to get humans to the planet with the technology it is developing but Russia’s potential super-fast spaceship could get there in half that time.

Vladimir Putin’s space agency, RosCosmos, originally started the project in 2010 but it has now been taken on by nuclear body Rosatom.

The project has a deadline of 2018, meaning there is a possibility that cosmonauts could become the first to get to Mars by the end of the decade if all goes to plan.

Sergey Kirienko, head of Rosatom, told RT: “A nuclear power unit makes it possible to reach Mars in a matter of one to one and a half months, providing capability for manoeuvring and acceleration.

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