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With the successful Giotto comet rendezvous mission (1985-1992) behind (Reference 82), ESA scientists concentrated during 1993-1994 on the culmination of the Ulysses Sunexplorer and plans for several more pioneering solar system probes. However, ESA budget realities are likely to retard the growing pace of adopting such challenging missions. The Horizon 2000 long-range space science program created by ESA in 1985 has chosen four cornerstone missions (SOHO/Cluster, XMM, Rosetta, and FIRST) and two medium-size missions (aka M missions: Huygens and INTEGRAL) for both the exploration of the solar system and beyond. Additional M missions and a new Horizon 2000 Plus program are under consideration.

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