The European Space Agency announced on the 17th that it is suspending the Mars mission Exomas, which it has been pushing forward with Russia. ESA and the Russian Federation Space Agency were scheduled to launch the Rosalind Franklin rover developed for the exploration of life on Mars in August or October.
European Space Agencys Mars rover. /AP Yonhap News
ESAs board of directors said in a statement released today that “we deplore the tragic consequences and loss of life of the war” and, seeing that cooperation with Roscosmos, including the launch of the probe, was impossible, told the secretary-general that it was appropriate to stop cooperation with Russia. action was ordered. The board also authorized the secretary-general to conduct research expeditiously to find other options for implementing Exomas.
The ESA board held a two-day board meeting in Paris, France, starting the day before to evaluate the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It is reported that the board of directors unanimously agreed to this decision.
Russia has announced that it will pursue independent exploration. In a message posted on the Telegram channel on the same day, Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin said, “It is true that we have lost several years, but we will remake our own landing module and load it on the rocket carrier Angara to explore independently at the Vostocini space station. ” he said.
In response to ESAs announcement of the suspension of ExoMars, he added, “This means that the joint Russian-European mission to Mars, scheduled for September 2022, has been cancelled.