GEC arm to build Europe's first Mars spacecraft

GEC arm to build Europe’s first Mars spacecraft
Richard Wilson
Matra Marconi Space, the Anglo-French space-probe and satellite manufacturer in which GEC has a substantial interest, has secured a landmark contract to design and build Europe’s first satellite to explore the planet Mars.
The European Space Agency placed the ?40m contract for the satellite which it is hoped will search for water beneath the surface of Mars as it orbits the planet.
The spacecraft, part of which will be developed in the UK, is scheduled for launch in 2003. Called Mars Express, it will also carry a payload that will attempt to land on the planet’s surface.

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