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Roscosmos and ESA agreed on the mutual return of equipment for ExoMars-2022

The equipment for the Russian-European ExoMars-2022 project will be returned to the respective parties. Currently, Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) are preparing for the return of the equipment. The ExoMars program, launched in 2001 to explore Mars, was halted in July 2022.

“In preparation for the return of the Russian material part (landing module with landing platform and scientific instruments) to the Thales Alenia Space Italy facility in Turin, Italy, necessary work is being carried out with the participation of Russian specialists,” Roscosmos said in a statement.

The ExoMars-2022 interplanetary station consists of a European transit module, a Russian landing module with a landing platform, and a European Mars rover. The station was planned to be launched in September 2022 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome using the Proton-M rocket with the Briz-M booster. The first spacecraft in the program, an orbital station around Mars, was launched in 2016 using the Proton-M rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Russia’s financial contribution to ExoMars is 10%, with the rest invested by Europeans.

Currently, Roscosmos and the Russian Academy of Sciences are exploring the possibility of Mars research based on the existing groundwork, including the possibility of involving foreign partners.

In July 2022, the ESA suspended cooperation with Roscosmos on the ExoMars project. At the same time, the agency proposed to organize mutual return of equipment.

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