ESA calls off Mars Mission with Russia amidst Russia-Ukraine Conflict

As a result of the Ukraine invasion, the European Space Agency has stopped working with Russia on a joint project, Interfax news agency said on Friday. Russia will start working on its own Mars mission. The ESA said on Thursday that it would not be possible to work with Russia on the ExoMars mission. If everything goes as planned later this year, a Russian rocket will take a European-made rover to Mars instead.

The head of Russia’s space agency, Dmitry Rogozin: “We’ll start working on a mission to Mars in the next few years. We’ll start planning now.”

Interfax said that he didn’t think a rover was necessary because Russia already had a landing module that could carry a rover and do the scientific work that was needed.

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He said there were “big doubts” about what the ESA could do without Russia, which already had a rocket and a launch site. He said that the ESA would need at least six years to build its own module.

Roscosmos has already stopped working with Europe on space launches and said it won’t be supplying rocket engines to the United States because of sanctions.

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