European Space Agency suspends joint Russia Mars project

The European Space Agency (Esa) has suspended a Mars programme it was working on in conjunction with Russian space agency Roscosmos, the BBC reports.

In a statement posted on its website, Esa said it would be impossible to continue co-operating with Roscosmos on its ExoMars rover mission, which aims to carry out further research on the surface of Mars.

It said Esa’s ruling council had made the decision unanimously in response to the situation in Ukraine.

“While recognising the impact on scientific exploration of space, Esa is fully aligned with the sanctions imposed on Russia by its member states,” the statement reads.

The British-built Rosalind Franklin Mars rover was due to launch on a Russian rocket in September and land eight months later using Russian hardware.

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