Photos Surface of Mars
Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) the possibility to establish cooperation with the European Space Agency's (European Space Agency / ESA) to conduct a research program Mars, ExoMars. The program is scheduled for the first quarter of 2013.
"The agreement will be signed. We began to fund this project," said the head of Roscosmos, Vladimir Popovkin said in an interview with the Izvestia newspaper as reported rbth.asia.
Popovkin discuss Russia's readiness to join the project in a telephone conversation with the head of the ESA, Jean-Jacques Dorden, on 21 December. Both sides agreed to sign an agreement in the first quarter of next year.
According to Popovkin, the actual signing of the document is planned to be implemented in November. However, delayed due to the complexity of the legal procedures adopted by the ESA.
"Text document to be approved 'to the point' on 20 January," Popovkin said.
ExoMars Program is a program to send an orbiter to Mars in 2016, and sent robotic rovers two years later. At first the program was run by the U.S. space agency (NASA) and the ESA.
But recently, NASA pulled away and said repeal participation in the project. NASA also will provide Atlas launcher for the program.
Russia has repeatedly expressed his desire to join the program. Russia offered to provide carrier rocket, Proton, to launch and exchange of scientific equipment for full membership.
Russia's Roscosmos earlier said funding for the ExoMars program can be partially covered by insurance payments. Insurance costs of 1.2 billion rubles or approximately U.S. $ 40.7 million from the mission Phobos-Grunt spacecraft falling to prove Phobos (satellite) Martian moon. Russia's participation in the project has been approved by the board space of the Russian Academy of Sciences.