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Europe's ExoMars rover...
Leave Earth: 2011, Arrive Mars: 2013

Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PParc) artist concept of Europe's ExoMars rover
Europe's ExoMars rover drills down six feet beneath the surface of the Red Planet in 2013 in this Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PParc) artist concept.
Europe plans to blast off ExoMars, a science lander with a robot rover, from Earth in June 2011 to land on the Martian surface in June 2013.

The fixed station on the surface and the rover will look for signs of present or past life on the Red Planet.

The tiny nomad would weigh a mere 265 lbs. with the miniature science payload somewhere between 20 and 30 lbs.

The stationary science station would conduct geophysics, meteorology and environment studies with a seismometer to measure seismic activity from volcanoes, hydrothermal vents or Marsquakes; weather instruments; and sensors to collect data on radiation, magnetic fields and ultraviolet light.

The rover would have a drill, or robot mole, for burrowing beneath the Martian soil. Its instruments would be able to detect past or present life, analyze shallow subsurface water, determine the chemical composition of the soil, and identify environmental hazards to humans on the surface. The rover will have a gas analysis package for studying stable isotopes in the atmosphere, rocks, and soil.

The American spacecraft Mars Telecommunications Orbiter would relay data from ExoMars to Earth.
Learn more about Mars Telecommunications Orbiter and the Interplanetary Internet »

Launch. ExoMars would be launched on a Russian Soyuz Fregat 2b rocket from ESA's spaceport at Kourou, French Guiana.

The entry, descent and landing would involve retrorockets, parachutes and airbags. The June landing would avoid the worst of Mars' dust storm season.

Sample return later. The project is part of the European Space Agency's long-term Aurora plan for robot and human exploration of the Solar System, with Mars, the Moon and asteroids as prime targets.
Learn more about Aurora »

ESA plans to take part in an international Mars sample return mission in 2016.

Learn more:
Europe's State-of-the-Art Science Spacecraft »
European Space Agency Aurora Programme »
PParc's Aurora Advisory Committee »
Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PParc) »
UK-European Preparatory Space Exploration Programme »

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Mars Meteorites - JPL
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Solar System:
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Artist conception of Mars with water four billion years ago
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