HomeESA Reacts To Ukraine War, Cuts Ties With Russia

ESA Reacts To Ukraine War, Cuts Ties With Russia

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The ESA and Roscosmos partnership to deploy a European rover to Mars atop a Russian lander has come to an end.

The Rosalind Franklin rover and the Kazachok lander are the two components of the ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform mission.

The ESA Council acknowledged that “the circumstances which led to the suspension of the cooperation with Roscosmos – the war in Ukraine and the resulting sanctions – continue to prevail.”

Therefore, the Council instructed ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher to formally terminate the partnership between Roscosmos and ESA on the ExoMars Rover and Surface Platform mission, which is now paused.

Aschbacher himself posted on his Twitter account that at a press conference on July 20, new ideas on the way forward with other partners would be presented, and details will be announced soon.

In response, the Roscosmos press office announced on Wednesday.

“On July 12, 2022, the ESA director general notified the state corporation Roscosmos in compliance with a decision by the European Space Agency (ESA) Council of member states that ESA had terminated bilateral cooperation under the ExoMars-2022 mission due to the complex geopolitical situation,” the press office said in a statement.

According to Roscosmos, all equipment will be returned to the respective parties.

“Specialists of the state corporation Roscosmos and ESA are now working on the options of returning Russian equipment located on EU territory to the Russian Federation and the European equipment located on Russia’s soil to ESA,” it said.

Image Credit: Getty

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