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The International Mars Exploration Working Group (IMEWG) is an organization of all major space agencies and institutions participating in the exploration of the planet Mars. Conceived in 1993, the working group meets twice per year to discuss an international strategy for the exploration of Mars.
As a result all space agencies involved in planetary exploration are interested in participating in some way in Mars exploration. Yet in this era of fiscal constraint, individual agencies and nations are finding it difficult to mount their own independent Mars exploration programs. One way of sustaining a healthy exploration program in this environment is through international co-operation. The International Mars Exploration Working Group.
Returned samples also will increase understanding of the useful or harmful properties of Martian soil, which will support planning for the eventual human exploration of Mars. A task force named the International Mars Architecture for Return of Samples, or IMARS, recently met in Washington to lay the foundation for an international collaboration to return samples from Mars. NASA hosted the meeting. IMARS meeting participants included representatives from more than half a dozen countries and NASA, the European Space Agency, or ESA, the Canadian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. IMARS is a committee of the International Mars Exploration Working Group, or IMEWG. The group.