posted on Jul, 10 2004 @ 02:30 PM
British space expertise will be wasted unless the UK government backs Europe's ambitious Aurora programme, experts say.
Insiders claim the UK needs to be involved in Aurora if it is to capitalise on the know-how developed on the Beagle 2 Mars lander project.
The government's spending review, to be announced on Monday, will determine whether the UK will be able to play a leading role in the programme.
Aurora will set out a long-term plan for exploration of the Solar System.
The programme as envisaged by the European Space Agency (Esa) involves landing a robot rover on the surface of Mars - perhaps as early as 2009.