ExoMars delay until 2020

The European Space Agency and Russia's equivalent Roscosmos have delayed their second ExoMars mission until 2020 after production problems.

The first ExoMars mission blasted off on March 14 and (despite a small problem along the way) is en route to Mars, carrying an atmosphere-monitoring satellite and a lander. The second mission, containing a Russian-built lander and a rover designed by ESA, was due to take off in 2018 but problems in building the hardware have caused this latest delay.

It looks like 2020 is going to be a busy year for the Red Planet. In addition to ExoMars, NASA's Curiosity 2.0 rover will also be touching down – hopefully in one piece – to explore for signs of life and possible future landing sites. ®

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