UK’s Mars Rover & Other Space Projects Fall Victim to Russian War against Ukraine3rd May 2022
British Mars rover falls victim to the Russian war against Ukraine, and it is also possible that the ExoMars mission will have to be postponed or abandoned due to the international space sanctions. As the scientific collaboration between the UK and Russia has come to an end, some equipment, including the Russian Proton rocket and Kazachok landing system, is off bounds. Scientists working on the ExoMars mission have commented on the development.
Scientists on the future of the UK Mars Rover Mission
According to Professor John Zarnecki, the Russian war against Ukraine makes further collaboration on the Mars rover mission inconceivable. He adds that the relations between the two countries will remain strained for quite a long time, which could eventually delay the ExoMars mission for the rest of the decade. If this happens, the technology will most probably become outdated.
Professor Andrew Coates shares his concern about the future of the Kazachok landing system, also used in the Mars rover mission. According to Coates, Kazachok’s parachutes carried out some very complex manoeuvres, and it will not be easy to replace this tech.
A planetary scientist Áine O’Brien remains more optimistic. She says that the experience is strange for all scientists involved in the projects but believes this is only a minor setback compared to what people in Ukraine are suffering as a result of the war. O’Brien adds that even if the whole team is forced to cut their losses, there will still be other Mars missions to focus on in the future.
More Tech Falls Victims of Russian War against Ukraine
Several other space projects have been put on hold as the result of the Russian war against Ukraine. Many space agencies worldwide have used Russian rockets and have chosen to end the collaboration due to the new circumstances, but not all of them. We wrote about space companies that deny Russian attacks. Sanctions also affect the launch of Galileo navigation satellites. So, the Mars rover mission is not the only victim of the Russian war against Ukraine, and sadly, it looks like it may not be the last.