The first mission, dubbed MoonLITE, would orbit the Moon and fire projectiles into the surface, penetrating up to two metres.
The probe would record seismological data, study the impact cloud thrown up and relay the data via a high speed link back to Earth.
The second mission, called Moonraker, would see a robotic craft actually land on the Moon's surface and investigate the poles and large impact craters. This data would be used to establish the best place for a future colony on the moon.
"The ESA is to be congratulated on taking such an imaginative and transparent approach to defining Europe's future space programme and, importantly, how we in Europe might collaborate with other nations to develop a truly global space exploration strategy," said Malcolm Wicks, Minister for Science and Innovation.
"The UK has a vibrant space science and industrial community that already makes a significant contribution to our knowledge economy.
"Its experience in developing innovative space technology will continue to ensure that the UK plays a leading role in both European and global space exploration in the future."
The UK is already the second largest European contributor to the ESA's Aurora programme of planetary exploration, and is currently involved in developing an ambitious Mars Rover project that will fly onboard Europe's ExoMars mission in 2013.
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