European Space Agency Discontinues Cooperation with Russia on Luna Moon Mission12th May 2022
The European Space Agency keeps severing ties with Russia, announcing the discontinuation of the moon missions Luna-25, -26, and -27. Prior to that, ESA has already ceased collaboration with Russia on an ExoMars mission, and the only space area where Europe keeps working with Russia is the ISS, where Russian input is crucial. The discontinuation comes as a result of open military aggression in Ukraine and following sanctions imposed by the European Union.
European Space Agency on Collaboration with Roscosmos
In the official press release, the European Space Agency stated that it intends to discontinue cooperation with Roscosmos because of the Russian aggression in a neighbouring state. The ESA quoted a ‘fundamental change of circumstances that make further cooperation impossible.
Initially, the European Space Agency and Roscosmos were supposed to launch the first of the three moon missions, Luna-25, in 2022, with two more to follow over the next few years. However, similar to the ExoMars mission scheduled for this year, the moon mission cooperation had to be forsaken because of Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine. ESA states that the cooperation is ‘suspended’ and announced that only ISS missions remain unchanged because of Russia’s heavy input in the project.
Russian Officials on the Situation
According to Russian President Vladimir Putin and the state-owned news agency TASS, Russia will still send an unmanned spacecraft to the moon as part of the Luna-25 moon mission later this year. However, the officials have made no comment on the European Space Agency breaking off the cooperation on a series of planned moon missions. Besides, one should not forget that Russia launched its last moon mission, Luna-24, in 1976. So, whether Russia’s upcoming moon mission will be a success without the European Space Agency is a matter of debate.