The launch of a joint Russian-European mission ExoMars, which was to be held in the summer of 2020, postponed to 2022, the press service of the Roscosmos.
This decision was taken after a joint project team of Roskosmos and the European space Agency (ESA) has conducted an assessment of all works required to obtain permission to run.
“Taking into account the recommendations of inspectors General with the European and Russian side specialists on the project “Eczemas” came to the conclusion that the tests required to confirm the suitability of all components of the spacecraft to launch to Mars, requires additional time”, – stated in the press release of the Corporation.
As explained by the head of the Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, postponement is linked to the epidemic of the coronavirus, which combines the work had to be suspended.
“We made the difficult and along with that informed decision on the postponement of the launch of the mission for 2022. It is primarily due to the requirement for maximum reliability of all systems of the spacecraft ExoMars, as well as force majeure caused by the deterioration of the epidemiological situation in Europe, which almost stopped the possibility of working visits of our specialists at partner companies”, – said Rogozin.
“Command of industrial enterprises have worked around the clock for nearly a year in order to complete the Assembly and full-scale tests of the composite spacecraft. We are proud of the work done that led to the creation of a unique concept of the Rover and its practical implementation. We have accumulated a substantial body of knowledge which will allow to complete the remaining work within the shortest possible time”, – commented the decision the head of ESA, Johann-Dietrich wörner.
The main objective of the mission “ExoMars” – a search for traces of life on Mars, and a study of the various periods of the existence of water on the planet. The Rover ExoMars, called “Rosalind Franklin” (Rosalind Franklin), is equipped with a drill device, allowing to penetrate into the subsurface layer of the planet, as well as a miniature laboratory to search for traces of life.