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