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NASA To Cancel Mars Mission Plans

February 14, 2012

NASA intends to cancel plans for the U.S. to join Europe on a Mars sampling mission that is considered important to learning if life appeared beyond Earth.

The U.S. space agency is facing budgetary constraints, with $17.7 billion budgeted for 2013, about the same as this year.

NASA's cancellation leaves the European Space Agency without a key partner for a proposed two-spacecraft mission to collect and return soil samples from Mars.

The so-called Exobiology on Mars, or ExoMars, probes had been scheduled to launch in 2016 and 2018.

Compiled from agency reports


Copyright (c) 2012. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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