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ExoMars mission suspended 

  • IASbaba
  • March 18, 2022
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ExoMars mission suspended 

Part of: Prelims and GS-III Space

Context:The European Space Agency (ESA) has suspended its €1bn (£844m) ExoMars mission, which is a joint project with Russia.

  • It was due to launch a robotic rover in September.
  • Member states of the ESA voted recently to cancel the launch because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

About the mission

  • The Mars rover, named Rosalind Franklin, was assembled in the UK for a planned launch onboard a Russian rocket.
    • Rosalind Franklin is the second stage of the joint European-Russian mission. 
    • The first part, a satellite called the Trace Gas Orbiter, was launched in 2016 and is studying the planet’s atmosphere. 
    • It was also supposed to act as a telecommunications relay for Rosalind Franklin when the rover arrived.
  • The next available launch window, based on the alignment of the Earth and Mars, will be 2024, but the technical and political issues may take longer than this to resolve.
  • The ESA has commissioned a feasibility study of how to get ExoMars off the ground without Roscosmos (Russian space agency) involvement. 
  • Working with NASA is one option and it had expressed a “strong willingness to support” the mission.

News Source: The Guardian

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