The European Space Agency (ESA) has announced the suspension of the Russian-European ExoMars mission and the search for alternatives for the launch of four other missions, following the cessation of cooperation with the Russian space agency Roscosmos because of the war in Ukraine, she announced Thursday in a press release after her Council meeting.
The ExoMars mission planned the September launch of an ESA rover bound for the planet Mars, using a Russian launcher and lander. The board of the European Space Agency has instructed its director to launch a rapid industrial study to relaunch ExoMars and seek alternatives for other missions.
The launches of many ESA missions have so far relied on the use of the Russian Soyuz launcher from the European spaceport of Kourou, in French Guiana.
The other missions with Soyuz suspended
Roscosmos responded to European sanctions, imposed following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, by suspending its Soyuz launches from Kourou and recalling its team of around a hundred engineers and technicians. Initially scheduled for 2020, the launch of ExoMars had been postponed due to the Covid pandemic, to September 2022. It is now more than compromised due to a window of fire towards the red planet which does not open. that…every two years.
According to a millimeter choreography, the ESA rover, Rosalind Franklin, was to be transported by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur in Kazakhstan, and to land on Martian soil using the “Kazatchok” lander, also Russian.
All other ESA missions based on the use of the Soyuz launcher are also suspended. These include two satellites for the European location constellation Galileo, the Euclid science mission and the European-Japanese Earth observation mission EarthCARE.
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