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Life on Mars? Work starts on British-built robot to explore Red Planet

Airbus is building the ExoMars rover which is expected to head to the Red Planet in 2020 and land in 2021 to look for life.

Work has started in Britain on building on a robot vehicle that will be sent to look for life on Mars.

The European Space Agency's Mars rover is being constructed in Stevenage with the aim of exploring the Martian surface in 2021.

It has a drill to probe up to two metres under the surface of Mars and has instruments on board that can examine the samples it finds.

The 300kg robot vehicle is capable of travelling 2cm a second for at least 90 days, but scientists hope it will remain active for as long as the latest American rover Curiosity, which landed in August 2012 and is still exploring.


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