European Space Agency Ministers Decide to Meet

In early December, ministers of the various nations composing the European Space Agency decided to meet.  Amongst a myriad of issues they have to discuss, a prominent one is the future of their Mars rover.  The ExoMars rover has been long-discussed and has encountered its fair share of issues-nearly being abandoned on several occasions.  One issue being the high cost, in addition to the inconsistency of the production/testing schedule.  The purpose of the rover is to assist human spaceflight by sampling the soil on Mars in search for life.

The ExoMars now needs an additional $430 million if it is expected to launch on schedule. Following a technical review, if given the funds, the ExoMars will remain on schedule.  The director of the ESA made it explicitly clear that member states need to either provide full financial support or none at all in order to make a firm decision, instead of providing minimal funds that do not benefit it.

Ultimately, if ESA chooses to provide funding, this would spark new interest in space travel.  Perhaps new opportunities will arise for European astronauts to link up with the ISS and will allow for the chance for ESA to create a service module for the Orion crew ship.


Sources:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-38165211

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Author: humanspaceflightisoutofthisworld

A marketing student with an interest in things out of this world.

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