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Europe, Russia sign a deal on missions to Mars

The two bodies will team up to send an unmanned spacecraft to the red planet in 2016.

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The European Space Agency said it will team up with Russia's space agency to send missions to Mars between 2016 and 2018. (AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

The European and Russian space agencies signed an agreement Thursday to undertake joint missions to Mars.

The two bodies will team up to send an unmanned spacecraft to the red planet in 2016.

The ExoMars program envisions a number of missions, including sending an orbiter, and an unmanned rover over several years.

The goal of the mission is to look for life on Mars

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NASA pulled out of the ExoMars program last year due to budget cuts, said the Associated Press.

Both the European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscomos said they will cooperate on scientific research and share expenses.

"Both partners will supply scientific instruments and will cooperate closely in the scientific exploitation of the missions," said officials for the ESA, who penned the deal last November, reported AFP.

The ESA has already invested about $520 million into the program.

The Moscow Times saidthe missions will use a Russian-made Proton-M rockets.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/science/130314/europe-russia-sign-deal-missions-mars