The ExoMars rover will be ESA’s field biologist on Mars. Its aim is to further characterise the biological environment on Mars in preparation for robotic missions and then human exploration.
In November 2008, the ministers responsible for space activities in ESA’s member states and Canada will gather in The Hague to set the course of Europe’s space programme over the period ahead. They will be invited to endorse the next stages in a series of ongoing programmes and to commit to the start of new programmes.
The main purpose of ESA’s programmes will be to consolidate Space as a strategic asset of fundamental importance for the independence, security and prosperity of Europe. Space is an enabling tool. It gives European decision-makers the ability to respond to critical challenges such as climate change and global security, makes a significant contribution to Europe’s growth and employment, provides indispensable enabling technologies and services for the knowledge-based society, and increases the understanding of our planet and Universe. Space also contributes to European identity, cohesion and security, providing inspiration for possible future human endeavour and drawing young people into scientific and technical education.