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The Mars exploration plans of ESA

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8 Author(s)

In the framework of its Aurora Exploration Program, the European Space Agency (ESA) has initiated the ExoMars Project. Aside from searching for traces of life at and near the Martian surface, ExoMars aims to characterize the Martian geochemistry and water distribution at various locations, improve the knowledge of the Mars environment and geophysics, and identify possible hazards for future missions. Beyond the ExoMars Project, there is a strong scientific and technical interest in Europe to participate in an international Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. ESA's overall approach to MSR includes a combination of system studies, technology development work, and the identification of capability development approaches including the consideration of demonstration missions. In the longer term, the approach intends to allow the strategic down-selection of specific areas in which Europe can play a strategic role in the eventual MSR mission

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Robotics & Automation Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 2 )