Solar System Chatter

Another Mars Mission Slips

Just a few weeks ago, NASA announced the launch of the Mars InSight lander would be delayed from 2016 to 2018 due to vacuum seal issues with its seismograph instrument. Now a similar fate is upon the second part of the European-Russian collaboration ExoMars. The first half of the mission is already underway, with the Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander having launched this March. The next phase is a rover and landing platform originally scheduled to launch in 2018, but delays in marrying the European and Russian systems (the Russians stepped in when the U.S. backed out of the mission in 2012) will slip that launch to 2020, the same year NASA’s Mars 2020 rover will head to the red planet.

Heather Goss is the Departments Editor at Air & Space.

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ExoMars, Mars