ExoMars will explore the Martian surface with a mobile rover and a stationary science module.
PPARC's investment is focussed on instruments and technology in which the UK has a proven and recognised track record, building on the heritage from Beagle 2 technology and missions such as Mars Express and Huygens. The 9 funding awards will develop areas which the UK considers to be critical, enabling academia and industry to develop flight-ready technology in time for the ExoMars mission.
The awards are for:
More details on each of these and wider UK work is available in the accompanying information pack.
Professor Keith Mason, CEO of PPARC said "Mars Express has, and still is, delivering outstanding science from orbit around the Red Planet. It has revealed some amazing facts about Mars and even more amazing images – but we have unfinished business on the surface. To really understand the mysteries of Mars we need ground-truth data and ExoMars will deliver that with the rover and base station".
Mason added," The UK is already the second largest financial contributor to the Aurora programme in Europe – confirmation that we intend to be a major player. This latest PPARC funding will position our scientists and engineers to win leading roles in instruments and technology in the first mission, ExoMars".
Notes for Editors
Images – see http://www.pparc.ac.uk/Nw/Aurora_decision.asp
Video – Beta tape showing locomotive testing of the rover prototype in Tenerife is available. Contact Julia Maddock for details.
Animation – an online animation is available at
Unfortunately we do not yet have this at broadcast quality.
PPARC Press Office
Tel 01793 442025
Mobile 0787 9602899
PPARC Press Office
Tel 01793 442094
Mobile 07901 514 975
ESA Spokesperson and Head of Media Relations Division
Tel: +33 1 5369 7713
Fax: + 33 1 5369 7690
The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is the UK's strategic science investment agency. It funds research, education and public understanding in four broad areas of science - particle physics, astronomy, cosmology and space science.
PPARC is government funded and provides research grants and studentships to scientists in British universities, gives researchers access to world-class facilities and funds the UK membership of international bodies such as the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, CERN, the European Space Agency and the European Southern Observatory. It also contributes money for the UK telescopes overseas on La Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre at the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh and the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility.
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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