17 Mar 2022 18:11

Russia to send mission to Mars on its own - Roscosmos CEO Rogozin

MOSCOW. March 17 (Interfax) - The Russian state space corporation Roscosmos will be able to carry out a Martian expedition on its own in view of the European Space Agency (ESA) decision to halt cooperation on the ExoMars mission, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin said.

"Yes, we'll lose several years, but we'll copy our landing module, provide it with an Angara launch vehicle, and we will carry out this research expedition from the new launch site of the Vostochny Cosmodrome independently," Rogozin wrote on Telegram.

Rogozin posted a scan of ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher's letter informing Roscosmos of the decision to withdraw from the ExoMars project. "In fact, this is a very bitter event for all space enthusiasts. This means that the Russian-European joint mission to Mars set for September 2022 has been cancelled," Rogozin said.

The ESA ruling council said in a statement published on its website earlier on Thursday that it found it impossible to continue cooperating with Roscosmos on the ExoMars mission to study the Mars surface.