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ESA selects ExoMars landing site
Posted: Sat, Oct 24, 2015, 11:30 AM ET (1530 GMT)
ExoMars rover illustration (ESA) The European Space Agency has selected a region thought to once be a river delta as the landing site for a 2018 rover mission. ESA announced Wednesday that it plans to land its ExoMars 2018 rover in the Oxia Planum region of Mars in January 2019, eight months after its launch on a Proton rocket. The area, in the planet's equatorial region, is rich in minerals that suggest that it hosted liquid water early in the planet's history, and has geological features similar to rover deltas on Earth. ExoMars 2018 will follow up ESA's ExoMars 2016 mission scheduled for launch early next year; that mission consists of an orbiter and a small lander to demonstrate technologies for landing on the planet.
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