The first mission in the Aurora programme, ExoMars, will search for traces of past and present life.
A key goal of the ExoMars Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) is to detect and characterise trace gases in the Martian atmosphere and gain a better understanding of methane and other atmospheric gases that are present in small concentrations, but could be evidence for possible biological or geological activity.
The ExoMars rover, due for launch in 2020, will search Mars for signs of biosignatures from past life preserved within the subsurface via a 2m drill.
InSight, a NASA mission due for launch in 2018, will investigate the interior structure and processes of Mars by placing a single geophysical lander on Mars to study its deep interior. This should help scientists to understand the formation and evolution of terrestrial planets and determine the present level of tectonic activity and meteorite impact rate on Mars.
This scheme is open to academics and individual scientists from the UK or overseas, working at UK Research Organisations, for proposals to fund:
- Fellowships to develop promising early career researchers or allow existing academics to discipline-hop
- Post Doctorate Research Assistants
- Support for academics to participate in international science teams to exploit data from future missions such as the NASA InSight mission