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A European Space Agency programme, with Canadian involvement, for the long-term exploration of the Solar System, notably Mars, the Moon, and the asteroids. The ultimate goal is an international mission to land humans on Mars in the 2030s. The first ESA mission in the Aurora programme is ExoMars, an orbiter and lander to be launched in 2016. That will be followed by surface rovers and missions to bring back samples from Mars. Development of a manned lunar base is also likely to be a stepping stone to Mars.

http://www.esa.int/SPECIALS/Aurora/index.html ESA mission website.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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