European Space Agency to stop working with Russia on moon missions

The European Space Agency announced that it will stop working with Russia on moon missions because of their attack in Ukraine.

“Following the Russian aggression against Ukraine, ESA’s Director General has initiated a comprehensive review of all activities currently undertaken in cooperation with Russia and Ukraine,” a statement from the ESA said.

“The objective is to determine the possible consequences of this new geopolitical context for ESA programmes and activities and to create a more resilient and robust space infrastructure for Europe.”

The statement said that “ESA’s science and technology for these missions remains of vital importance” and they are working toward finding alternatives to continue these missions using other machines.

The statement said that missions Luna-25 and Luna-27 are being discontinued and that alternative plans are already underway.

The ExoMars Rover mission, which was ready for flight and was supposed to launch in September, will now be suspended, the ESA said, adding that Russian aggression against Ukraine and the resulting sanctions “represent a fundamental change of circumstances and make it impossible for ESA to implement the planned lunar cooperation.”

“Instead, a fast-track study is now under way led by Thales Alenia Space of Italy to assess options for the way forward,” the ESA said.