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Europe Moves Ahead on Mars Probe as NASA Targets Moon
Robotic missions to Mars promise to provide a space-exploration second front as humans prepare to return to the Moon in the decade ahead.
While NASA concentrates on building the human-rated Ares launch vehicles along with the Orion crew carriers and upper stages and landers needed to put four human explorers at a time anywhere on the Moon, the focus in Europe will be on a sophisticated rover that can drill as much as 6 ft. beneath the Martian surface to look for evidence of water and life.