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Opportunity profile: Aurora prepares for liftoff

Image: NASA [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

The UK Space Agency’s Aurora programme to support international Mars missions is open again. With two missions close at hand, ‎space exploration programme manager Sue Horne tells Sophie Inge that operational expertise will be prized.

The Aurora science programme, which supports science and operations related to Martian planetary exploration, has been run by the UK Space Agency once a year since its launch in 2005. For this round, researchers can apply via three programmes.

  • Fellowships, which are intended to help early-career researchers develop and also allow more senior academics to discipline-hop from relevant fields.
  • Post-doctorate research assistants.
  • Support for academics to participate in international teams working on Mars missions.

Both the fellowship and post-doctorate research assistant programmes run for no longer than three years full-time (or six years part-time for the fellowships). Applications are particularly welcomed in relation to the operations and science for the ExoMars 2020 mission and support activities in preparation for the Mars Sample Return mission.

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