In his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne has announced the UK will play the 'lead role' in Europe's ExoMars mission to the red planet.
He also confirmed a £250m material science institute for Manchester.
Mr Osborne loosely outlined the spending of some of his previous commitment of £1.1bn per year on science infrastructure, to 2020-21.
These measures join a £200m icebreaker research ship announced in April, and a the Met Office's £97m supercomputer.
Although they do not represent 'new money' for science outside of previous commitments, the announcements come amid belt-tightening across government spending: Mr Osborne said there would be two more years of cuts to departmental budgets.
The BBC understands that the commitment to the ExoMars programme amounts to around £50m, alongside a similar amount for the International Space Station.