ESA and Russia delay troubled ExoMars mission launch until 2022

By Gege Li

The Rosalind Franklin rover won’t launch to Mars for another two yearsESA/ATG medialabThe European Space Agency and Russian space agency Roscosmos have postponed a planned robotic mission to Mars. The second ExoMars mission was due to launch in July or August this year, but won’t go ahead until 2022, in part due to the current coronavirus outbreak, the agencies have said.
The mission, which includes a Russian lander called Kazachok and an ESA rover called Rosalind Franklin, aims to search for previous signs of life on the Red Planet. It was scheduled to land in March 2021, but this has now been pushed back to 2023, following a planned launch between August and October 2022.
ExoMars’s second mission had already been plagued with problems, including failed landing tests that resulted in damage to the parachutes designed to land the rover safely on Mars. “We are doing all the…

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