SUMMARY: Three European firms have won contracts to design the European Space Agency's ExoMars spacecraft - a mission that is expected to launch to the Red Planet in 2009. ExoMars will consist of an orbiter and a rover that will land on Mars, and explore some of its surface. The three winning teams are Alenia Spazio, Alcatel Space and EADS Astrium. Teams have also been selected to provide design studies for the Mars Sample Return mission - where a spacecraft will land on Mars, collect samples, and then return them to Earth.
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