ESA is suspending cooperation with Russia under the Luna-25, -26 and -27 programs

The European Space Agency (ESA) is suspending cooperation with Russia under the Luna-25, -26 and -27 programs. As in the case of ExoMars, Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the resulting sanctions make it impossible for the ESA to implement its planned monthly cooperation.

To continue implementing the programs, ESA has provided the opportunity to fly on board of NASA’s Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) mission for monthly training and PROSPECT analysis, a package for accessing and estimating potential resources on the Moon and to prepare technologies that can be used to extract these resources in the future , which was originally planned for Luna-27. An alternative flight is possible to test the ESA navigation camera, known as PILOT-D (originally planned for Luna-25), which is already being purchased from a commercial service provider.

Last week the CEO of ESA and the President of the Japanese agency JAXA signed an agreement on the flight of ESA EMS-L, an exosphere mass spectrometer, aboard the JAXA / ISRO LUPEX mission.

Although all elements of the ExoMars Rover mission (launcher, carrier module, launch module, and Rosalind Franklin rover) have passed the readiness test, as cooperation with Roscosmos on ExoMars has been suspended, the mission will not be launched in September this year. Instead, a rapid study led by Thales Alenia Space from Italy is currently underway to assess options for further development.

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