NASA and ESA sign Mars agreement BBC

The US and European space agencies have signed the “letter of intent” that ties together their Mars programmes.
The agreement, which was penned in Washington DC, gives the green light to scientists and engineers to begin the joint planning of Red Planet missions.
The union will start with a European-led orbiter in 2016, and continue with surface rovers in 2018, and then perhaps a network of landers in 2018.
The ultimate aim is a mission to return Mars rock and soils to Earth labs.