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ESA wins more funding for Aurora exploration program
Posted: Tue, Dec 21, 2004, 7:50 PM ET (0050 GMT)
ESA The European Space Agency announced Monday that it has convinced member nations to contribute additional funds for Aurora, a long-term exploration program. The Italian Space Agency will provide €12.5 million (US$16.7 million) to take the lead in the preparatory phase in the program. Britain, France, and a number of other ESA members have also confirmed or increased their contributions to the program, bringing its total funding to €41.5 million (US$55.6 million) through 2005-2006. Aurora is a decades-long program designed to develop a human and robotic exploration program similar in general scope to NASA's Vision for Space Exploration. The initial programs for Aurora will include ExoMars, an orbiter and rover mission, and a proposed Mars sample return mission next decade.
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