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Roscosmos, ESA to sign agreement on Mars exploration in November

October 08, 2012, 12:53 UTC+3
The launch of an orbiter and a stationary lander are planned for 2016, and a Russian lander to deliver the rover is planned for 2018
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MOSCOW, October 8 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s federal space agency and the European Space Agency will sign a full-fledged agreement on joint exploration of Mars, Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin told the 3d Moscow Solar System Symposium on Monday.

“Formally now we have no agreement with the European Space Agency, but it will be signed in November. Now we are actively preparing for the mission in 2016,” he said.

ExoMars project is targeted at comprehensive exploration of the Red Planet.

“We toughly divide the spheres of responsibility with the ESA, but we have no clear division what equipment and to what part of the spacecraft we will install. This year we plan to finally divide our powers as concerns the mission in 2018,” he said.

The project includes several spacecraft elements to be sent to Mars on two launches. The launch of an orbiter and a stationary lander are planned for 2016, and a Russian lander to deliver the rover is planned for 2018.

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