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.
The European Space Agency will ask its 22 member governments in December for a multi-year financial commitment of around 11 billion euros ($12.2 billion) including a billion-euro telecommunications research effort to be conducted in partnership with the private sector and around 1.4 billion euros in new Earth observation missions, ESA Director-General Jan Woerner said Nov. 7.