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ESA suspends ExoMars mission

The twin of the ExoMars rover is used to test the rover’s systems on Earth. Credit: Thales Alenia Space

Edinburgh, 18 March 2022. – ESA announced the suspension of the ExoMars programme in alignment with the sanctions imposed on Russia by its Member States. ESA’s ruling Council assessed the situation that the war in Ukraine caused with regards to ExoMars, and came to a unanimous decision.

The Council came to the conclusion that it was impossible to keep cooperating with Roscosmos on the ExoMars rover mission. ExoMars was originally scheduled to launch this year. ESA’s Director General, Dr Josef Aschbacher, will take steps to suspend the cooperation activities. He will also seek new options for a way forward to implement the ExoMars rover mission.

Earlier, Roscosmos withdrew its personnel from Europe’s Spaceport and all missions scheduled to launch on the Soyuz rocket have been put on hold. ESA is the launch service procurement entity for four of these: Galileo M10, Galileo M11, Euclid and EarthCare. ESA is currently looking for potential alternative launch services for these missions.

The Director General intends to convene an extraordinary session of Council to submit specific proposals for decision by Member States, ESA said.

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