Tech UPTechnologyExoMars, canceled

ExoMars, canceled

A few days ago the European Space Agency (ESA) saw “very unlikely” that the Exomars mission would take off this year due to the conflict with Russia-Ukraine . Now, the ESA has just sent a statement confirming that “as an intergovernmental organization with the mandate to develop and implement space programs in full respect of European values, we deeply deplore the human victims and the tragic consequences of the aggression against Ukraine. recognizes the impact on the scientific exploration of space, ESA is fully aligned with the sanctions imposed on Russia by its Member States.”

For this reason, at the meeting of the ESA Governing Council, which took place in Paris on March 16 and 17 and after evaluating the situation arising from the war in Ukraine with respect to ExoMars, they unanimously decided “the impossibility to carry out ongoing cooperation with Roscosmos on the ExoMars rover mission with a launch in 2022″, and directed the ESA Director General to take appropriate steps to suspend cooperative activities accordingly ; authorized the Director General of ESA to carry out an accelerated industrial study to better define the options available to implement the ExoMars rover mission.

ExoMars was scheduled to launch on a Russian rocket in September 2022 and land eight months later. This cooperation has just come to an end and, with it, the ExoMars program as it was originally planned.

“We are giving absolute priority to making the right decisions, not only for the good of our workforce involved in the programs, but in full respect of our European values, which have always fundamentally shaped our approach to international cooperation” , said the ESA a few days ago.

The decision is made.

ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher intends to convene an extraordinary session of the Council in the coming weeks to present specific proposals for Member States to decide.

The Russian space agency, Roscosmos, withdrew its staff from the European spaceport in French Guiana and therefore all scheduled Soyuz launch missions have been suspended. Consequently, “the ESA Director General has initiated an evaluation of possible alternative launch services for these missions , which will include a review of the first Ariane 6 exploitation flights,” explains ESA.

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