ESA Terminates Mars Rover Mission with Russia

The European Space Agency (ESA) has officially terminated cooperation with Russia’s Roscosmos on the European ExoMars Rover project.

“On a different note, today @ESA Council addressed the ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform mission, acknowledging that the circumstances which led to the suspension of the cooperation with Roscosmos – the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions – continue to prevail,” said ESA’s Director General Josef Aschbacher. 

The ESA ExoMars Rover aimed to find signs of life on Mars and was supposed to be launched last March just before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The secondary launch date was scheduled for September this year but no further details were disclosed prior to the termination of the ESA-Roscomos agreement. 

Aschbacher added that more details will be disclosed about the future of the mission on July 20, 2022. 

In response to the cooperation termination, Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin has ordered the Russian cosmonauts to stop using the European Space Agency’s robotic arm at the ISS.

“I, in turn, give a command to our crew on the ISS to stop working with the European ERA manipulator. Let Aschbacher himself and his boss Borrell fly into space and do at least something useful in their lives,” said Rogozin. 

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