The Mars rover is being packed into storage after the Russian launch was canceled
The European Space Agency is trying to locate ExoMars Rover’s next-possible launch window after it suspended cooperation with the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover (named after the famous chemist) was to launch for the Red Planet in September. This is half of the ExoMars program; The remaining half of Mars’s orbit is projected in 2016. Like the Perseverance Rover, Rosalind Franklin will make astronomical discoveries of Mars. But with the September launch canceled, Rover components will now be stored in Italy until further notice.
“I hope our member nations decide that this is not the end of the ExoMars but the rebirth of the mission, perhaps the trigger for developing more European autonomy,” said David Parker, director of human and robotic exploration. ESA, in the agency’s publication.
The Rosalind Franklin rover was developed by ESA, but Roscosmos was providing proton rockets as well as mission landing platforms for launching spacecraft. The landing platform would have been a kind of home base for the rover’s science experiments and would have measured the weather, atmosphere and radiation levels of Mars.
Although the Russian invasion disrupted Rover’s timeline, Roseland Franklin Rover reviewed the system earlier this month. The ESA Review Board confirmed that the spacecraft would be ready for launch in September.
In a statement issued earlier this month, the ESA said a number of proposals on how to proceed with the ExoMars campaign without Russian participation would be presented next week. But considering the rover’s timeline, the damage is done effectively.
The development of the rover had previously been delayed due to technical difficulties and the Covid-19 epidemic. According to a recent review, technical issues have been resolved and, if not for the Ukraine invasion, another rover will soon be launched to Mars.
Rosalind Franklin can do things she can’t. Designed to be the first rover to drill 6.5 feet into the soil of Mars, NASA’s mole could not have done such a feat. (Insight Lander tried hard to dig into the planet, but the Martian soil slipped in such a way that it was impossible for the Mole Probe to progress.)
A quick-track study to determine the next steps of ExoMars without being on the way to Russia; Because the launch windows on Mars depend on the proximity of the Earth’s red planet, the mission will take at least two years to land.