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MOSCOW, September 30. /TASS/. Russia has run into difficulties as regards the obtaining US-made component parts for its research equipment to be used in the ExoMars inter-planetary project, the launch of which has been scheduled for 2016, Oleg Korablyov, a Deputy Director General of the Space Research Institute in charge of materiel for ExoMars told reporters on Wednesday.
"The sanctions have had a strong impact on us, since we didn’t manage to buy some component parts (of US manufacture) for ExoMars," he said, admitting along with it that the Russian side had bought the bulk of the elements needed during the 2016 mission in advance.
The Space Research Institute got assistance from the European Space Agency in securing delivery of components from the US, Korablyov said. "Special lists were compiled and they [Europeans] helped us. It was a timely assistance," he said.
For the 2018 mission, Russian researchers plan to do without foreign equipment by using import substitution. "This is a very complicated activity because it often makes the manufacturing process longer and more expensive," Korablyov said.
Earlier reports indicated that a joint Russian-European orbital probe is to start off towards Mars in 2016 and a landing probe with a robot rover is to be launched in 2018.