Airbus has received an order worth £ 3.9 million (approximately $ 5.2 million, $ 7 million) for the development of a new Mars rover.
The contract was awarded by the European Space Agency (ESA) with the aim of collecting and transporting soil samples from the planned Mars rover from 2020, which is also currently under construction between ESA and Airbus.
The new Rover, which is being developed at the Airbus site in Stevenage, UK, north of London, is another blessing to the burgeoning space sector in the UK, which today accounts for an estimated £ 13.7 billion for the country's economy.
British Science Minister Sam Gyimah praised "the remarkable new project that brings samples from Mars back to Earth for the first time" and "Britain's world-leading scientific and technological innovation".
The sky is the limit
Airbus is perhaps best known as a manufacturer of civil aircraft, although the Dutch-based company has used its aviation expertise to expand into the helicopter market and to open a defense and space division.
ESA previously worked with Airbus on a variety of satellite systems and spacecraft, as well as exploration missions for Mars and Venus. Other projects under development include a solar observatory (Solar Orbiter) and a near-infrared telescope to observe dark matter.