The U.S. and France have agreed to an expanded program of space cooperation that might culminate in a joint sample return mission in 2005. France plans to place higher priority on joint planetary operations, capitalizing on NASA's ``faster, cheaper, better'' initiatives. French space agency CNES has put participation in both joint sample return missions and the European Space Agency's Mars Express orbiter, to be launched in 2003, at the top of its near- and mid-term agenda (AW&ST ...
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