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European Joint Mars Mission with Russia Postponed by War | WGN Radio 720

This figure, provided by the European Space Agency, shows the ExoMars rover in Europe and Russia. The ESA said on Monday, February 28, 2022, the planned launch of a joint mission with Russia to Mars this year is “very unlikely” due to sanctions related to the war in Ukraine. .. (European Space Agency via AP)

Berlin (AP) -Due to sanctions related to the war in Ukraine, the start of a joint European-Russian mission to Mars this year is “very unlikely,” the European Space Agency said on Monday.

The agency said it was evaluating the results of sanctions on cooperation with Russia’s Roscosmos space agency after meeting with officials from 22 member states.

“It is very unlikely that it will be launched in 2022 due to sanctions and the broader context,” officials said in a statement.

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus and technical problems, the launch has already been postponed from 2020. This was due to a bombing from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in September using a Russian proton rocket. Postponing the launch often means waiting months or years for another window to open when the planet is in the correct position.

The goal is to place Europe’s first rover on the red planet to determine if Mars was alive. A test rover launched in 2016 crashed and landed on Mars, highlighting the difficulty of placing a spacecraft on the planet.

On Saturday, Roscosmos said it was pulling personnel from a European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. From there, Russian rockets launched several European satellites, with more satellites scheduled for next year.

France’s President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this month that Europe needs a bolder space policy, and its sovereignty is at stake if it lags behind its rivals in key areas of technology, science and military competitiveness. Claimed to be.

Europe has its own rocket to put satellites into orbit, but it relies on Russian and American partners to send astronauts into space.

NASA’s Head of Space Operations said on Monday that the agency operates the International Space Station with Russian support and input as usual. According to Kathy Leaders, the flight control team is still in contact, training and cooperating.

“Obviously we understand the global situation, but as a joint team, these teams are working together,” she said.

The United States and Russia are key operators of the space station, a partnership of five space agencies. Currently, there are four Americans, two Russians, and one German at the station.

“We’ve been running in this situation before, but both sides have always been very professional,” Lueders said.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hay will return to Earth with two Russians in Soyuz capsules at the end of March, Ruders said, and that’s still going well. Russian capsules were the only way to get in and out of space after NASA’s shuttle retired in 2011, until the first SpaceX crew flew in 2020.

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AP Aerospace writer Marcia Dunn contributed to this report.

European Joint Mars Mission with Russia Postponed by War | WGN Radio 720

Source link European Joint Mars Mission with Russia Postponed by War | WGN Radio 720

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