The Aurora programme provides funding for both industry and academia in the fields of planetary science, astrobiology, space instrumentation and the development of new technologies to exploit the opportunities presented by participation in space missions.
Schiaparelli on Mars.
Credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)
The ExoMars mission, due for launch in 2018, has already significantly benefited from this funding, both in terms of development of instruments that will fly on this mission and the knowledge and expertise required to interpret the findings.
Aurora is an "optional" programme of the European Space Agency (ESA), i.e., countries can choose whether or not to participate and at what level. One reason for UK involvement in Aurora was because of the potential applications and benefits to industry. In the UK the UK Space Agency is the organisation which ensures that these benefits are maximised in the UK. There are two potential funding routes:
For more information on UK Space Agency funding please visit our funding section.