On Monday, the European Space Agency (ESA) said that it has conducted negotiations with Russia’s Roscosmos space agency about the ExoMars rover mission to look for indications of life on Mars’ surface.
The European Space Agency and Russian Roscosmos are meeting to negotiate a mission to Mars
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the imposition of sanctions on Moscow, the agency announced in March that it was halting cooperation with Roscosmos on its joint ExoMars program.
In an emailed statement, the ESA’s press office confirmed the conversations but gave no indication of the outcome. an update could come after the ESA Council meeting on Wednesday.
Over the weekend, Dmitry Rogozin, the chairman of Roscosmos, told the Russian TASS news agency that the ESA will survey its members after the meetings, but that the odds for cooperation were slim.
He said the chances of a positive answer from ESA members were low, at 7-8%.
“If they meet halfway and say they agree, then the mission can be implemented,” TASS cited Rogozin as saying, adding that the launch could take place in 2024.
Rogozin said in April that restoration of joint space projects would only be possible once Western sanctions against Moscow were lifted.
Russia also participates with the West on the International Space Station, the largest artificial object in space. The ESA said in May it does not expect Russia to terminate joint operation of the station.
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