The Chairman of the European Space Agency said he expects NASA to support the ExoMars project. ESA finally broke the agreement on it with Roscosmos and is now trying to put everything in order.
ESA is going to launch ExoMars together with the Americans
On June 22, the head of the European Space Agency (ESA), Josef Aschbacher, said that he expects his colleagues from NASA to support the implementation of the ExoMars project. According to him, NASA administrator Bill Nelson has already made such a promise, and now the parties are discussing how best to do it.
Previously, Russia was the main partner of ESA in this project. ExoMars was supposed to be the largest joint mission of the two space agencies, but the war in Ukraine put an end to the almost completed project.
Roscosmos demanded that Western countries lift sanctions against it. ESA could not fulfill this requirement and in March, despite heavy losses for itself, announced the termination of cooperation with Dmitry Rogozin’s department. Since then, the final fate of the mission has remained completely uncertain. From time to time, the parties made statements about the negotiations, but their details were unknown.
When will the Mars mission be launched
From the statements of the same Ashbacher, it became known that all the negotiations with Russia that lasted almost until last week were devoted to the division of equipment. The fact is that work on the device was carried out at two sites: in Italy and Russia. And for the last two months, the Europeans have been trying to take their equipment from Rogozin, and he has been trying to get his own from Europe.
Now these issues are finally settled and we can move on to replacing Russians with Americans. It’s not that simple. The opportunity to launch a probe to Mars opens every two years. A successful launch in 2022 was possible thanks to the Russian lander. NASA simply does not have a ready-made solution for this situation.
The development of new equipment will take some time. And NASA needs to somehow fit it into its budget, designed for completely different missions. So, it will not be possible to launch the probe and the Rosalind Franklin rover on it either in 2022 or in 2024. So far, the most likely new start date is called 2026.
According to www.reuters.com
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