NASA and ESA officials signed an agreement on May 16 at ESA's Paris headquarters, formalizing the previously announced collaboration between the agencies on the "ExoMars Rosalind Franklin" rover mission, scheduled to launch in 2028.

The agreement includes NASA's contributions to the mission, including throttling braking engines to be used in a newly developed landing equipment.

REPLACING RUSSIA

NASA's contributions will replace equipment provided by the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos, which is developing the landing platform for the mission and plans to launch the spacecraft in September 2022.

ESA canceled the partnership with Russia weeks after the Russia-Ukraine war erupted in February 2022.

LANDING ON MARS IN 2030

"This important agreement strengthens our joint efforts for the ExoMars program and enables the Rosalind Franklin rover to set foot on Martian soil in 2030," Daniel Neuenschwander, ESA's director of human and robotic exploration, said in a statement.

The announcement did not disclose the financial value of NASA's contribution to the mission. The fiscal year 2025 budget proposal released in March included $49.2 million for work on Rosalind Franklin.

The Rosalind Franklin mission will give NASA the opportunity to participate in a new Mars mission at a time when it is seeking new plans to bring back samples from Mars.

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Editor: David Goodman