Russia-Europe Mars Mission Postponed to 2022, Partly Over COVID-19 Fears

A joint Russian-European mission to Mars has been postponed for two many years, the Russian and European space businesses mentioned Thursday, citing the novel coronavirus and technical problems.


“We have created a challenging but properly-weighed determination to postpone the launch to 2022,” mentioned Dmitry Rogozin, head of Russia’s Roscosmos company.

The unmanned ExoMars mission aims to location a robotic on the Red World to obtain out regardless of whether life is current.

It was scheduled to launch later on this 12 months immediately after dealing with various delays.

Officers at the European and Russian spaces businesses mentioned they agreed to delay the mission till August or September 2022 to carry out further more tests.

Subsequent tips by European and Russian inspectors, “ExoMars specialists concluded that the tests necessary to make all the factors of the spacecraft for the Mars experience have to have a lot more time to comprehensive,” the statement mentioned.

European Room Company director standard Jan Wörner mentioned each sides wished to be “100 p.c” positive of a prosperous mission.

“We can’t permit ourselves any margin of error. More verification functions will make sure a risk-free excursion and the ideal scientific final results on Mars,” he mentioned in a statement that did not mention the virus.

Rogozin especially pointed to the impact of the outbreak of the coronavirus in Europe stating the “exacerbation of the epidemiological” situation had hampered the scheduled launch.

The Mars mission has been marred by a sequence of technical challenges and delays.

In August last 12 months, the ESA determined challenges with the mission’s parachute technique, elevating thoughts above regardless of whether the launch would go in advance in 2020.

© Agence France-Presse