Roscosmos, ESA to conduct joint unmanned expedition to Mars
MOSCOW, Apr 06, 2012 (Xinhua via COMTEX) --
Russia's federal space agency
Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) agreed to conduct an
ExoMars joint project on Mars exploration, Roscosmos said Friday.
The head of Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin, and Director General
of ESA Jean-Jacques Dordain held talks here on Russia's
participation in ExoMars and inked a document on cooperation, a
spokeswoman for Roscosmos told local media.
"The talks yielded a statement of intent regarding the joint
exploratory robotic mission to Mars," the spokeswoman said.
According to the Roscosmos, the two sides would sign a final
agreement in November after confirming financial details of the
ExoMars, which is currently under development by the ESA, is a
robotic mission to Mars for searching possible biosignature of
Initially, the project envisaged the launch of a mission to
Mars orbit in 2016, followed by landing a ground vehicle in 2018
with the participation of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space
ESA turned to Russia for support after NASA refused to provide
the project with an Atlas-5 rocket as a carrier to deliver a space
vehicle to Mars.
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