ExoMars: Rosalind rover leader discusses failed tests
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The ESA council made the announcement — calling ongoing cooperation with Russian space agency Roscosmos on the joint program a “present impossibility” — following a two-day meeting in Paris that concluded today. A spokesperson said: “As an intergovernmental organisation mandated to develop and implement space programmes in full respect with European values, we deeply deplore the human casualties and tragic consequences of the aggression towards Ukraine. “While recognising the impact on scientific exploration of space, ESA is fully aligned with the sanctions imposed on Russia by its Member Sta
ExoMars is a multi-mission programme whose goals beyond searching for traces of microbial life include investigating variations in the Martian geochemical and hydrological environment, study trace gases and their sources, and demonstrate technologies that could one day be used in a mission to return samples from Mars back to Earth.
The programme previously launched a mission in 2016, placing the atmosphere-studying Trace Gas Orbiter into Mars orbit and deploying the Schiaparelli Entry, Descent, and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM).
This craft was built to test technologies for future soft landings on Mars but crashed following a malfunction in its inertial measurement unit, which caused it to deploy its parachute and braking thrusters at the wrong time.
The ESA is now considering how to move forward with a delayed implementation of the next mission in the ExoMars programme.
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