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BOULDER, Colorado – Future hunts for past or present life on Mars, hauling back to Earth samples of martian rock and soil, as well as setting the stage for a human voyage to the red planet is taking on a decidedly European look.
European Space Agency (ESA) officials are taking steps to shift into high gear the building of the ExoMars robotic rover mission. The lander would be launched in 2011, likely onboard a Soyuz Fregat 2b booster from the Kourou spaceport in French Guiana.
On arrival at Mars, ExoMars would be equipped to scout about for the leftover traces of long-gone life or still thriving biology on the far-away world. Furthermore, the ESA robot is to help identify potential peril for a future humans-to-Mars mission – now resident on NASA planning charts as the year 2030.
Originally posted by Amorymeltzer
Ours look nicer...
I bet it will be delayed, ESA is being too optimistic.
Originally posted by Terapin
The whole 'Ours Vs. Theirs' concept is totally silly. NASA and the ESA WORK TOGETHER for the benefit of Mankind. If you look at the ESA proposal pic you will see a Rover that is totally based on the design by JPL and it is in fact a copy of basic design used in the Spirit and Opportunity rovers down to the steering and drive mechanism, wheel design, as well as the robotic instrument laden arm. When the British probe Beagle went missing BOTH the ESA and NASA worked hard to try and find out when went wrong. This is not some Cold War race against different nations. It is mankind reaching out to the stars in cooperation. NASA has a long history of taking foreign nationals along on missions in the shuttle. NASA and JPL helped the ESA with the design of their Mars Observer satellite and they help us in turn.
Mankind is slowly stepping out from its cradle and reaching out to the planets and this will most assuredly be a cooperative international effort. We should all applaud the tremendous effort that goes into this endeavor and the long hours and dedication of those working to achieve the dreams of humanity.
[edit on 28-4-2005 by Terapin]