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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jan 31, 2006 13:53:45 GMT -6
Alcatel Alenia Space starts the ExoMars mission design
Paris, January 31, 2006 - In the frame of a contract signed with the European Space Agency (ESA), Alcatel Alenia Space has started the ExoMars mission design. The ExoMars mission aims at sending a lander rover to Mars in order to find traces of past or present life. This contract, worth about 13 million Euros, calls for one year mission design work up to the preliminary design review including the definition of the main system elements of the mission.
ExoMars is the first robotic exploration mission to be developed within the European space exploration program Aurora. Aurora objectives are to create and implement a European long-term plan for the robotic and human exploration of the solar system as well as to search for life beyond the Earth.
The ExoMars program, commissioned by ESA for a budget of about 600 million Euros, is one of the most important exploration missions in the near future. Scheduled to be launched from Kourou in 2011, the ExoMars mission will enable exobiology studies. The mission will collect new information on Mars environment to prepare future human explorations.