ESA ends relations with Russia on Mars rover mission
Tuesday, the head of the European Space Agency said the agency had terminated its partnership with Russia to launch Europe’s first planetary rover.
As part of a mission to seek for indications of life on Mars, Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, and ESA worked together on the European ExoMars rover. This was a joint venture.
The launch of the rover was originally scheduled for September 2022, but it was postponed in March, just a few weeks after Russia invaded Ukraine.
As a consequence of the conflict in Ukraine and the continuation of sanctions, the European Space Agency Council has now officially severed its connections with Roscosmos on this collaborative project, according to a tweet posted on Tuesday by the Director General of the European Space Agency, Josef Aschbacher.
The additional information that he claimed would be delivered on the 20th of July pertains to the path that the mission would take.
In light of NASA’s apparent necessity to “sever” its relations with Russia, Aschbacher said, the European Space Agency (ESA) has been considering closer collaboration with NASA going forward.
Previously, Aschbacher had told CNN, “Geopolitically, it is clear that we need to sever our ties with Russia, and this decision has been made by the member states. So yes, it’s really unfortunate for all the science and technology and the engineers who have been working on this for four decades. But there is no other choice to make.”
The rover was originally slated to launch in July 2020. However, the pandemic delayed the launch date to a later schedule.
According to the European Space Agency (ESA), ExoMars is also referred to as Rosalind Franklin, a famous scientist who contributed to the decoding of the chemical structure of DNA.
In order to conduct onboard analysis, the rover will be drilling holes up to 6.6 feet (2 meters) deep. For its mission on Mars, ExoMars is expected to cover many kilometers and is capable of moving between 50 and 100 meters per Martian day, which is just over an hour longer than the Earth’s 24 hours; this is according to NASA.