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Life on Mars: University of Leicester to detect clues for alien existence
Date:6/2/2010

same time create world-class science. Because of its innovative work in space instrumentation, which builds upon the SRC expertise in imaging detectors and its interdisciplinary work on sensor systems, the University is providing several instruments.

"This is a truly exciting opportunity to explore Mars and look for extra-terrestrial life and on Friday 4 June, we are announcing the University of Leicester teams preparing for the ExoMars Flight Model Build programme."

Following construction of prototypes and confirmation of the mission by ESA, University of Leicester teams will start to gear up for the design and build of the various test models of the instruments and the build of the flight instruments due to be delivered in 2014.Both local industry in the East Midlands and key UK companies will be involved in the build of these instruments.

Professor Sims added: "The University of Leicester and the UK has a major international role in this key mission. The work associated with the ExoMars mission will be a major part of the University's Space Research Centre programme until launch of the mission in 2018 and after that, with operations and 'new science' on the surface of Mars from 2019.

"For the last 50 years at the University of Leicester, we have been exploring the Universe via astronomy; since 1993 the Earth and since 1995 the planets and Mars in particular. In 2018 the University will contribute instruments to the ExoMars mission that will attempt to answer the question of past or present life on Mars."

Professor Sims added that the University of Leicester's space research fed directly into postgraduate research as well as impacting on undergraduate education and on outreach programmes in schools, colleges and the wider community. The pioneering work of the University in Physics and Astronomy also led to the creation of the National Space Centre in Leicester.

Professor Sims said: "Given its major roles in
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Contact: Ather Mirza
pressoffice@le.ac.uk
01-162-523-335
University of Leicester
Source:Eurekalert

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