The European Space Agency is continuing discussions with NASA on how the agencies can work together to revive ESA’s ExoMars mission after ending cooperation with Russia.
The European Space Agency said Feb. 28 that it is “very unlikely” that its ExoMars mission will launch this September because of sanctions on Russia from its invasion of Ukraine.
American and European officials said Feb. 23 that space cooperation with Russia remains unaffected even as that country continues to threaten a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
The European and Russian space agencies have delayed crucial ExoMars 2020 parachute tests to late March, with the mission also set to undergo review.
Top officials with the European Space Agency remain confident that they will be able to resolve the parachute problems that threaten to delay next summer’s launch of the ExoMars 2020 rover mission.
ESA needs to succeed with two upcoming parachute tests or will see the ExoMars 2020 landing mission slip to 2022.
The European Space Agency said Aug. 12 that another test of the parachutes that will be used on the ExoMars 2020 lander mission failed last week, putting the schedule of the mission into jeopardy.
Development of a European-Russian Mars lander hit a setback when the spacecraft’s parachutes malfunctioned in a recent test, but project officials said they still have time to correct the problem before its launch in a year.
The spacecraft, a landing technology demonstrator, flew to Mars on the ExoMars 2016 mission, but crashed when it prematurely shut down its thrusters.
The agency said it will consider Mawrth Vallis, an area that once likely had liquid water, along with Oxia Planum.
The European Space Agency on Nov. 23 said its Schiaparelli lander’s crash landing on Mars on Oct. 19 followed an unexplained saturation of its inertial measurement unit, which delivered bad data to the lander’s computer and forced a premature release of its parachute.
Satellite and rocket hardware builder OHB of Germany on Nov. 16 said delays in its supply chain had put pressure on its revenue in recent months but that the company’s full-year profitability would be unaffected.