Nations OK European Space Agency's mission to Mars in 2020

AP News
Posted: Dec 02, 2016 10:21 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Nations have approved an additional 440 million euros ($469 million) to fund the European Space Agency's next mission to Mars.

As part of the ExoMars mission, the agency this year sent an orbiter and a test lander to the red planet. The Trace Gas Orbiter was successfully deployed but the Schiaparelli lander malfunctioned and a href=''s-Mars-probe'crashed on the surface/a of Mars, raising fears about the next stage of the mission.

Despite the crash, officials meeting in Lucerne, Switzerland, on Friday approved the budget that ESA said it requires to send a rover to Mars in 2020.

In all, member states approved 10.3 billion euros ($10.95 billion) in funding for the agency, which will also allow it to continue participating in the International Space Station program until at least 2024.