14:40 GMT +320 October 2018
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    This image provided by the European Space Agency, ESA, shows an artist·s impression depicting the separation of the ExoMars 2016 entry, descent and landing demonstrator module, named Schiaparelli, from the Trace Gas Orbiter, and heading for Mars

    EU-Russian Exomars Project Mission II Postponed Until 2020

    © AP Photo / ESA-D. Ducros
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    The second mission of the EU-Russia project to land on Mars has been postponed by two years until 2020.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The second mission of the historic EU-Russia project to drill on Mars has been postponed by two years until 2020, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said Monday.

    The first mission of the Mars project by Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA) was launched on March 14. The main goal is to establish if life ever existed on Mars by investigating its environment. The next stage includes putting a rover on Mars that will carry out a drill dedicated to exobiology and geochemistry research.

    "The Tiger Team has presented their final report on the work that was done at the meeting of the joint Roscosmos-ESA executive steering board (JESB) on the ExoMars project that took place in Moscow. Having assessed the conditions needed for the successful implementation of the project, JESB concluded that, taking into account delays caused by European and Russian contractors’ performance and bilateral deliveries of scientific equipment, it will be best to conduct the launch in 2020," Roscosmos said in a statement.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin watched the launch with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the space industry, head of the Roscosmos state corporation Igor Komarov, the commander of the Space Forces Alexander Golovko.

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    Tags:
    European Union, mission, launch, European Space Agency (ESA), Russia
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