Robotic Mars rover mission may be delayed until 2020

The launch of a robotic Mars rover under the ExoMars project may be delayed for two years, the European Space Agency\'s Oliver Witasse said at the Fifth Moscow International Solar System Symposium.

The launch of a robotic Mars rover under the ExoMars project may be delayed for two years, the European Space Agency\'s Oliver Witasse said at the Fifth Moscow International Solar System Symposium.

He said it had been planned to send the rover to Mars on May 7, 2018, and the arrival date was January 15, 2019.

The launch window is very tight and the next one will open only in two years if the mission is not ready by then, he said.

A new attempt to send the rover to Mars may be made on August 5, 2020. In this case, it would arrive on Mars on April 19, 2021.

An ExoMars orbiter will be sent to the planet prior to that. Its launch by a Proton-M vehicle is scheduled for January 2016 and the beginning of its Martian orbit would occur in October 2016.

Read more: Space Adventures announces Moon tour due in 2018


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