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ExoMars deal is formally signed between ESA and Roscosmos

14 Mar 2013, 16:52 UTC
ExoMars deal is formally signed between ESA and Roscosmos
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After NASA found it could no longer offer launches for the ExoMars mission, the European Space Agency (ESA) approached Russia for help. As a result of long running discussions, on 14 March the ESA Director General Jean-Jacques Dordain and Head of Roscosmos Vladimir Popovkin have signed a formal agreement for their respective agencies to work in partnership on the ExoMars programme towards the launch of two missions: one to be launched in January 2016, and one to be launched in 2018.
Under the deal, ESA will provide the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) and the Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM) in 2016, and the carrier and rover in 2018. Roscosmos will be responsible for the 2018 descent module and surface platform, and will provide launchers for both missions. Both partners will supply scientific instruments and will cooperate closely in the scientific exploitation of the missions.
The 2016 mission has two major ESA elements: the TGO and the EDM. The TGO will search for evidence of methane and other atmospheric gases that could be signatures of active biological or geological processes. It will also serve as a data relay for the 2018 mission. The EDM will land on ...

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