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Instruments selected for NASA/ESA Mars mission
Posted: Thu, Aug 5, 2010, 5:49 AM ET (0949 GMT)
ExoMars orbiter illustration (NASA) NASA and ESA announced this week the instruments that the space agencies will fly on their first joint mission to Mars. The two space agencies are working together on the development of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter, scheduled for launch in 2016, that will study the planet's atmosphere at a higher degree of sensitivity than any previous mission. The five instruments, four with principal investigators from the US and one from Europe, will provides images, spectroscopy, and other information on the Martian atmosphere, with a particular emphasis on methane, a gas that exists in trace amounts in the Martian atmosphere can could have either geological or biological origins. The orbiter also serves as a precursor for a Mars rover mission, also called ExoMars, slated for launch in 2018.
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