Russia To Undertake Solo Mars Mission After ESA Freezes Joint Project: Report

Russia will begin work on its own Mars mission as the European Space Agency (ESA) has suspended a joint project following the Ukrainian invasion, the Interfax news agency quoted a senior official as saying on Friday. ESA announced on Thursday that it is impossible to continue working with Russia on the ExoMars mission. A Russian rocket is supposed to transport a European -made rover to Mars later this year.

“In the near future we will start working on the implementation of the mission to Mars,” said Dmitry Rogozin, head of Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency.

Interfax quoted him as saying he did not think the rover was necessarily necessary because Russia’s existing landing module, designed to transport the rover, would be able to carry out the necessary scientific work.

Rogozin said there was “huge doubt” about what ESA could do without Russia, which already has rockets, launch sites and landing modules. ESA needs at least six years to develop its own modules, he said.

In response to sanctions Roscosmos has already suspended cooperation with Europe on space launches and announced it will stop supplying rocket engines to the United States.

© Thomson Reuters 2022

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