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ESA redirects lunar programmes in response to Russia-Ukraine crisis

Luna-27. Credit: Roscosmos

Edinburgh, 14 April 2022. – ESA will discontinue cooperative activities with Russia on Luna-25, -26 and -27 as per the ESA Council’s decision following a comprehensive review of all activities undertaken in cooperation with Russia and Ukraine. The sanctions in place due to the Russian aggression against Ukraine force the agency to end the planned lunar cooperation. 

ESA has already secured the flight of PROSPECT (Package for Resource Observation and in-Situ Prospecting for Exploration, Commercial exploitation and Transportation). The lunar drill and volatile analysis package originally planned for Luna-27, will launch on board a NASA-led Commercial Lunar Payload Services mission. 

ESA’s Pilot-D navigation camera planned for Luna-25 is also under procurement from a commercial service provider. The agency is currently trying to find a way forward for the Pilot precision landing and hazard avoidance technology planned for Luna-27. Earlier, ESA and JAXA signed an agreement to fly ESA’s EMS-L (Exospheric Mass Spectrometer) instrument on board the JAXA/ISRO LUPEX lunar rover mission. 

The launcher, carrier module, descent module and Rosalind Franklin rover of the ExoMars Rover mission have passed their flight readiness reviews. However, because of the suspension of the cooperation with Roscosmos, the mission will not be launched in September this year.

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