This handout file photo taken on August 27, 2003 and provided by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope shows Mars snapped within minutes of the planet's closest approach to Earth in nearly 60,000 years. AFP PHOTO / EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/D.DUCROS
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The Euro-Russian spacecraft ExoMars, launched towards the Red Planet last month, has sent home its first pictures from space and is in "excellent health," the European Space Agency said Thursday.Its main mission is to photograph the Red Planet and analyse its air.The second, the Mars rover phase, was originally scheduled for launch in 2018, but the ESA has said it will likely be delayed over money worries.There are high expectations, though, from the first phase – basically to determine whether Mars is "alive". The probe will analyse Mars' methane in more detail than any previous mission, according to the ESA, to try and determine its likely origin.
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