Russia plans unmanned Mars mission in 2019 and then missions to access ice water on the moon

Russia plans to launch an unmanned mission to Mars in 2019.

Vladimir Putin says Russia is planning unmanned and later manned launches, into deep space, as part of a lunar program and for Mars exploration.

Russia also plans to launch a mission to the polar regions of the Moon.

Putin described the plans in a video interview which was posted on Russian social media site.

SpaceX Mars rocket may be ready for short sub-orbital test flights next year. Elon had previously stated his ambition was to launch cargo flights by 2022.