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The Race to Mars Europe's mission to Mars

MARS EXPRESS BEAGLE 2 THE LAUNCH ARRIVAL LIFE SEARCH MARS FACTS
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Introduction

A new golden age in Mars exploration has begun. A host of space probes are leaving Earth for the Red Planet this summer.

First off the starting block was Europe's first solo mission to another planet, Mars Express. On board the parent space craft is Beagle 2, a tiny space lander the size of a barbecue. If all goes well, it will become the first British-built probe to touch down on another world.

The whole mission cost 200m (300 m euro). The aim is simple - to find evidence of life, past or present, on another planet.

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Europe's Mars Express mission (Courtesy: European Space Agency)

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