A European Mars rover launch in 2022 is highly unlikely due to the invasion of Ukraine

The rover ExoMars, The collaboration between the European Space Agency and the Russian space agency Roscosmos was on track to depart for Mars in September of this year, but the ESA said the “broader context” made that unlikely. The agency added that an official decision will be made after analyzing all options.

“We are fully implementing the sanctions imposed by member states against Russia,” the European Space Agency said in the statement. “We are assessing the consequences for each of our ongoing programs conducted in cooperation with the Russian state space agency Roscosmos and aligning our decisions with those of our member states in close coordination with industrial and international partners (particularly with NASA’s international space station).”

Launch windows are sensitive and timely for missions bound for Mars from Earth. itinerant, Known as ExoMars and Rosalind Franklin in honor of the English chemist and DNA pioneer, it was scheduled for release in July 2020 but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The European Space Agency also canceled a live question-and-answer session with Matthias Maurer, an ESA astronaut currently aboard the International Space Station. In addition to Maurer, there are currently four NASA astronauts and two Russian cosmonauts living and working aboard the outpost.

NASA said Monday that there are no indications that Russia is withdrawing its support from the International Space Station as a result of US sanctions. Although Roscosmos General Director Dmitry Rogozin raised this possibility last week.

“We are not getting any work-level indications that our peers are not committed to the ongoing process on the International Space Station,” said Kathy Lueders, associate administrator at NASA. “We as a team are operating exactly as we have been working for three weeks.” space operations.

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“Our teams – our flight controllers – are still talking together… We are still training together. We are still working together. Obviously. We understand the global situation. But as a joint team, these teams are working together.”

In response to a question about NASA’s backup plans for the space station in the event of Russia’s withdrawal, she said aerospace and defense company Northrop Grumman had offered a re-boost capability.

“As you know, our SpaceX people are looking at the possibility of getting additional capability,” she said.

Impact on the International Space Station

On Thursday, Rogozin said that US sanctions have the potential to “destroy our cooperation” on the International Space Station.

The International Space Station, a collaboration between the United States, Russia, Japan, Canada and the European Space Agency, is divided into two parts – the Russian orbital segment and the American orbital segment.

The American part provides the power, while the Russian side provides the thrust that keeps the International Space Station afloat.

“The Russian part cannot function without electricity from the American side, and the American side cannot function without the propulsion systems that are on the Russian side.” NASA astronaut Garrett Raisman told CNN last week.

“You can’t divorce amicably,” Raisman said. “You can’t do conscious decoupling.”

CNN’s Kristen Fisher contributed to this report.

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