MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos will go ahead with launching a research mission towards Mars in defiance of the European Space Agency’s pullout from the ExoMars project, Roscosmos CEO Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.
"True, we will lose several years, but we will replicate our landing module, make an Angara rocket for it and carry out this research mission from the newly-built Vostochny spaceport on our own. Without inviting any ‘European friends’, who prefer to keep their tails between their legs the moment they hear their American master’s angry voice," Rogozin said on his Telegram channel.
Rogozin demonstrated a letter from the Director-General of the European Space Agency, Joseph Aschbacher, saying that the ESA was quitting the ExoMars project.
"In reality, this is a very sad event for all space enthusiasts. This means that the joint Russian-European space mission to Mars, originally scheduled for September 2022, has been canceled. One European bureaucrat has sent efforts by thousands of specialists down the drain at the stroke of a pen," Rogozin said.
Earlier, the ESA said its Governing Board had found it impossible to go ahead with cooperation within the framework of the Russian-European ExoMars mission in the current situation. The ESA said the decision was made unanimously at the Governing Board’s meeting in Paris. Earlier, the ESA said the launch of ExoMars was unlikely due to the anti-Russian sanctions imposed over Ukraine.