ESA to discuss Mars mission

August 27, 2005

The European Space Agency wants to send a single robot rover to Mars along with another fixed station.

A three-day meeting has been scheduled for next week at the space agency's European Space Research and Technology Centre in Noordwijk, the Netherlands, to hash out what experiments the craft should take to Mars, the BBC reported Friday.

The Mars mission is to search for signs of past or present life. Some scientists want to use a drill to burrow beneath the Martian soil.

The probe is scheduled to leave Earth in June 2011 and arrive at Mars in June 2013.

The Mars lander is part of ESA's Aurora program, a long-term program for robotic -- and potentially human -- exploration of Mars, the moon and asteroids.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

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