A last-minute about-face by Italy could scuttle Europe’s ambitions to take a lead role in Mars and Moon exploration, just as planners are beginning to define a coordinated international exploration road map. The European Space Agency has been counting on a ministerial summit in The Hague Nov. 25-26 to recast its space program in new directions, with ambitions more attuned to Europe’s economic and technological potential. Leading the agency’s wish list are a pair of big exploration ...

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