It has been announced that the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Roscosmos Space Corporation have postponed the launch of the second ExoMars mission until 2022. The Exobiology on Mars (ExoMars) program includes a series of missions designed to study the potential for past life on the red planet. The first phase ExoMars was the launch of the Trace Gas Orbiter in 2016. The next step for ExoMars is the delivery of the rover, Rosalind Franklin, to the martian surface. Rosalind Franklin is equipped with a drill that will allow the rover to collect data from the sub-surface of the planet.

NASA has contributed scientific, engineering, and technical expertise to the development of ExoMars. NASA’s participation includes providing critical elements to the rover’s astrobiology instrument, the Mars Organic Molecule Analyzer (MOMA). MOMA is designed to examine organic molecules, the chemical building blocks of life.

A press release concerning the postponed launch of the ExoMars rover was issued by ESA and is available here.

More information on NASA’s ExoMars involvement can be found at: