Europe’s Mars rover will likely miss 2022 launch on Russian rocket due to Ukraine invasion sanctions

Europe’s ExoMars rover, built to search for traces of life on the Red Planet, is unlikely to launch as planned in September aboard a Russian rocket as a result of sanctions rolled out by European countries in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine. 

The ExoMars mission, which comprises the Trace Gas Orbiter (in orbit around Mars since 2016) and the yet-to-launch U.K.-built Rosalind Franklin rover, is the European Space Agency‘s (ESA) most significant cooperation with Russia apart from the International Space Station. The mission, which ESA originally developed with NASA, faced cancellation in 2012 after the American space agency withdrew due to budget cuts under U.S. President Barack Obama.