LONDON: UK engineers will design a robot that can retrieve rock samples on Mars so they can be sent to Earth for study.
The European Space Agency is issuing contracts to industry to spec the technology needed for what will be a complex joint undertaking with the US.
Aerospace giant Airbus will scope the concept for a surface "fetch rover" at its Stevenage centre north of London.
European Space Agency and the American space agency (Nasa) expect to send the sample-return equipment to the Red Planet in 2026. APP