Bad news for those who were hoping to see the colonization of Mars over the next 20 years: the European Agency Space (ESA) announced a couple of days ago, it will be delayed for at least three years, plans to send Mars ExoMars, the European vehicle designed to explore the surface of that planet.
Budgetary constraints have forced the ESA to postpone the launch of the ExoMars from 2013 to 2016. This is the second postponement of the operations of the vehicle after being postponed from 2011 to 2013.
According to the authorities of the ESA, the project was intended to be of smaller dimensions, but as scientists were advancing they were expanding the scope and objectives of the mission. Right now the estimated cost of ExoMars is 1,200 million euros, which is more than twice the initial budget.
Clearly, the countries participating in the ESA (starting with the Italians, who are leading this mission) have asked those responsible for the project to try to reduce the costs of the same, but still bad we weigh the economic situation now it makes it more prudent to postpone the project for a while.
The problem with postponing the project is that it is not something that can be left from one year to another ... if the ship that will carry the Exomars does not come out in November 2013 loses the launch window and must wait until January or February 2016, when the position of Mars will be favorable for launches from Earth.
A real shame.
To encourage a bit, here's a video with an explanation about how the mission will scan the Martian soil.
- Link to the official website of ExoMars:
- Press release in which the ESA communicates the delay:
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