Russia and Europe team up for joint missions to Mars

ESA team builds self-piloting rover in six months, tests it in Chilean desert

We're not sure how George Smiley would feel at the news, but we're certainly pleased to see that Europe and Russia are teaming up to revive the moribund ExoMars missions. The ESA has signed a deal with Roscosmos, its Russian counterpart, that'll see the pair launch an orbiter to the Red Planet in 2016, followed by a rover mission two years later. Unsurprisingly, Russia will be chipping in the rockets, leaving Europe with the job of building the hardware that'll go on it. Now all the pair need to do is argue about how best to usurp Curiosity as the mayor of the Gale Crater.