Europe looks to next Mars effort BBC

Three European consortia have won contracts to design a mission to Mars that should launch from Earth in 2009. The ExoMars probe will put a rover on the surface of the Red Planet to look for signs of current or past life. The companies, from European Space Agency (Esa) member states and Canada, have been asked to investigate the technology required for the mission. If the design work goes well and the funds are available, a consortium will then be told to start building ExoMars.