Flight to Mars cancelled over 'epidemiological situation in Europe'

According to Roskosmos Twitter, the launch of the Russian-European mission ExoMars was postponed from the summer of 2020 to August-September 2022.

The joint project group of Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) concluded that the tests required to confirm the “suitability of all components of the spacecraft” for the launch to Mars require additional time.

“During the final stage of preparation of the ExoMars mission, the progress was disrupted due to the general deterioration of the epidemiological situation in Europe,” it was reported.

The main task of the ExoMars mission is to find traces of life on Mars and improve understanding of how different periods of water existence on the planet looked like.

The ExoMars mission in 2020 was to be the second attempt of ESA and the state corporation Roscosmos to explore Mars. In 2016, ExoMars launched a module that crashed into the planet’s surface.