the Second part of the ambitious ExoMars mission should have been one of this summer's absolute space-highlights.
In July, a rover to be sent off toward Mars to dig for ancient signs in the planet's subsoil, but the mission has now been postponed to 2022. Partly due to the new coronavirus, writes ScienceAlert according to the Science.dk.
- We have taken a difficult but well considered decision to postpone the launch to 2022, says in an announcement on the ESA's website from Dmitry Rogozin, who is the leader of the Russian space agency, Roscosmos.
the Delay is primarily due to the ExoMars project has been hit by technical problems, but Rogozin also highlights that "the deterioration of the epidemiological situation" has delayed the work.
the ExoMars roverens parts are assembled and tested in multiple places in Europe, but travel restrictions due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 has made it difficult for the ExoMars scientists to visit laboratories in other countries, says on ESA's website.
Read also: ExoMars: high-Tech robot to dig for signs of life in the Martian subsoil
A mission marked by technical banter
It is not the first time that the Mars mission has been delayed. The preparations for the second part of the ExoMars mission has been seriously affected by the technical problems.
In august last year discovered the ESA, problems with the parachutes to reduce the speed of the vessel, so that it can land safely on Mars, so already at the time, questioned whether the launch could be carried out in 2020.
- We will ensure a 100% successful mission. We can not allow ourselves no margin for error. More verifikationsaktiviteter will ensure a safe journey and the best scientific results on Mars, says the director general of ESA Jan Wörner, ESA's announcement.
The european and the Russian space agency also says that the spacecraft's hardware and software to be tested further, before the mission can go ahead.
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