The ExoMars rover is ready to go to Mars … it remains to find a launcher for it

In search of form martian life extinct, even in activity, ExoMars is one of the most ambitious missions ever carried out. Especially since all-terrain vehicle Rosalind Franklin is blessed with a drill that would allow her to explore martian cellar to a depth of two meters. They could… because due to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia, the European Space Agency has suspended space cooperation with Roscosmos, the main partner of the program. As a result, although the mission was supposed to launch at the end of September 2022 aboard the Russian Proton, the rover will remain on the ground and hibernate until the next launch date. It will be stored at the Thales Alenia Space plant in Turin. Project Manager from the program.

It is in this context that the two planned reviews, system mission qualification And Flight eligibility checknevertheless were carried out. In particular, to ensure the readiness of the rover and its readiness for transfer to the launch pad, Baikonur In Kazakhstan. As a result, everything turns green. ExoMars 2022 could go to Mars from September 20, 2022.

Since 2018, the ExoMars rover has struggled to take off.

Remember mission failed by both Window previous polygons of 2020 and 2018. Therefore, forESA, Thales and Airbus to ensure that the reasons for these two delays have been addressed. These reviews also ensured that the rover could hibernate for several years before joining the mission. the planet Mars.

I hope our member states decide that this is not the end of ExoMars, but rather a resurrection of the mission, which may serve as an impetus for the development of more autonomy European says David Parker, director of Human Exploration and robotics at ESA. A statement recalling that, in ESA jargon, ExoMars is a non-mandatory mission, which means that each Member State decides which additional programs it wants to participate in and how much it contributes to each of these programs. Unlike ESA’s mandated space science activities, additional missions are likely to be canceled if funding is inadequate.

In a few weeks, the European Space Agency should publish the findings of the studies or directions of thought about the future of ExoMars, as well as in what configuration and on what day the mission can be launched.

ExoMars: the search for life on Mars will have to wait…

Article Remy Decor published on 20.03.2022

For its mission to Mars, the European Space Agency will do without the Russians. Therefore, it will not be launched until 2026, the time to look for alternatives to the participation of Russia, which, in particular, provided a landing platform for the rover and launcher.

As a result of the meeting of the Council, the European Space Agency (ESA) adopted a number of decisions in connection with the termination of space cooperation with Russia. The most anticipated was the fate of the ExoMars 2022 mission, which included the launch of the rover in September aboard the Russian Proton launch vehicle.

Not surprisingly, in order to comply with the sanctions adopted against RussiaThe Council decided to delay its launch and start a study to find alternatives to what the Russians were to provide under this partnership, which, it must be remembered, also included ExoMarch 2016. Dmitry Rogozin, head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, expressed regret at the decision and stressed with some confidence that Russia could accomplish this mission on its own within a few years…

ESA Council meeting held 16-17 March 2022 in Paris – media briefing. © ESA

A very, very uncertain 2024 filming window

Therefore, the launch date is delayed, and the new version of ExoMars may only take off in 2026 or even 2028. Indeed, it is unlikely that Thales Alenia Space, the prime contractor for the program, and its industrial partners, including Airbus, will be able to replace Russian equipment, including the landing platform and software flight in just under two years.

At the next Council, in four to five weeks, the European Space Agency should clarify its wishes and possible alternatives.

As for the other missions that were to be launched Russian Union, they are all suspended. These are two satellites intended for the European constellation of localization. Galileoscientific mission Euclid and Euro-Japanese missionearth observation CARE for the Earth.

We will keep you informed.

Mars: the fate of the ExoMars rover will be decided in a few days

Article by Remy Decours published on 03.05.2022

Due to the geopolitical context, EU sanctions and a very strong deterioration in relations with Russia, the launch of the ExoMars mission, in which Russia actively participates, scheduled for September 2022, is unlikely. The European Space Agency is to decide the fate of this mission and the alternatives available to it at a Council meeting scheduled for 15 and 16 March.

in the way of the cross continues for the ExoMars mission. After ExoMars 2018, ExoMars 2020 then ExoMarch 2022, will the European Space Agency be forced to rename its flagship program again? 2024 or even much later if the ESA takes a radical decision!

While the 2018 delay was due to delays in European and Russian industrial activity and scientific payload deliveries, the 2020 delay was due to probe-related items such as parachutessolar batteries, Russian electronics and flight software development.

Because the probe was due to take off in April to reach the launch site, the European Space Agency said on February 28 that due to sanctions imposed on Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, a launch in September 2022 seems unlikely.

First large-scale collaboration between ESA and Roscosmos

To understand this statement, it is necessary to know that the ExoMars program is carried out in close cooperation with Russia, which in some way saved the program after leaving NASA. Then, in 2012, the Russian Space Agency joined the program, providing Proton launch vehicles and scientific instruments for the 2016 and 2022 missions, as well as for the ExoMars-2022 rover. landing site Kazachok equipped with 13 scientific instruments, and not all Russian.

During its Council meeting scheduled for 15 and 16 March, the European Space Agency should consider its options for continuing with this program. If a two-year delay is the least painful and least restrictive solution for the program, it seems unlikely to us that ESA would decide to “go it alone”. This is due to the very high level of involvement and participation of Roscosmos in the program. On March 16, we will decide the fate of ExoMars.

Luckily for ESA, all elements of the probe are currently located at the Thales Alenia Space plant in Turin. Imagine the diplomatic headache if ExoMars 2022 was in Russia!

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