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The union will start with a European-led orbiter in 2016, and continue with surface rovers in 2018, and then perhaps a network of landers in 2018. The ultimate aim is a mission to return Mars rock and soils to Earth labs.
Their broad vision would encompass the following launch opportunities:
* 2016: A European-led orbiter to study trace gases, including methane, in Mars' atmosphere. The mission would also put a static meteorological station on the surface. Critically, Europe would handle the entry, descent and landing (EDL) of this station - a capability it has yet to demonstrate.
* 2018: European and American rovers would be despatched to Mars. The US would do the EDL.
* 2020: "Under consideration" is a network of landers focused on geophysics and the environment.
Originally posted by DataWraith
Stupid NASA , ESA, and ALL the other 'space agencies' combined, all that 'brain power', all those supposedly intelligent people banging on about Mars or indeed the moon.
Wasting Billions of Dollars, Pounds, Euros or whatever funds doing it all seperately, like the latest moon missions to find water, 2 probes from different countries to find out the same information.
Why not POOL their resources and do a GLOBAL space agency instead of them all jockeying for 'supremacy'?
It might actually restore some respect to them if they thought about GLOBAL consequences instead of trying to be singular entities.
Stupid stupid stupid people..
Lots of smarts but no commonsense.But at least this is a step in the right direction but still not enough, but you all see my point? 2 sets of probes doing the same thing, why not bite the bullet, build a ship big enough for a manned crew withthe pooled resources, go to Mars orbit drop a couple of probes and hey presto, all the information you could want.
[edit on 20/11/09 by DataWraith]