LAW & ORDER
ExoMars officially suspended
(17 Mar 2022) ESA's ruling Council, meeting in Paris on 16-17 March, acknowledged the present impossibility of carrying out the ongoing co-operation with Roskosmos on the ExoMars rover mission with a launch in 2022, and mandated the ESA Director General to take appropriate steps to suspend the co-operation activities accordingly.
It authorised the ESA Director General to carry out a fast-track industrial study to better define the available options for a way forward to implement the ExoMars rover mission. Russia was to provide the launch vehicle for the mission as well as the Kazachok lander.
Following the decision by Roskosmos to withdraw their personnel from Europe's Spaceport in French Guiana, all missions scheduled for launch by Soyuz have been put on hold. These concern essentially four institutional missions for which ESA is the launch service procurement entity (Galileo M10, Galileo M11, Euclid and EarthCare) and one additional institutional launch.
Consequently, the ESA Director General has initiated an assessment on potential alternative launch services for these missions, which will include a review of the Ariane 6 first exploitation flights.
The International Space Station Programme continues to operate nominally. The main goal is to continue safe operations of the ISS, including maintaining the safety of the crew.
Reference: ESA PR