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Canada considering Mars mission
Posted: Tue, May 29, 2001, 8:03 AM ET (1203 GMT)
Hubble image of Mars The Canadian Space Agency is considering mounting its own robotic mission to Mars late this decade, the online publication SpaceRef reported this weekend. CSA executive vice-president Marc Garneau told attendees of the Third Canadian Space Exploration Workshop in Montreal Friday night that the agency was interesting in flying a mission in the 2007-2009 time frame. The mission, which would cost an estimated C$500 million (US$325 million), has yet to be defined: workshop participants were asked to brainstorm a variety of concepts, including orbiters, landers, and rovers that would visit Mars or its two small moons. At the same time Garneau said the will be an "order of magnitude" increase in funding for the CSA, which would be needed to support a Mars mission. To date only the United States, the former Soviet Union/Russia, and Japan have launched missions to the red planet; the European Space Agency is planning its own mission for launch in 2003.
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