The European Space Agency suspends cooperation with Russia on the ExoMars mission due to the invasion of Ukraine

As an intergovernmental organization responsible for developing and implementing space programs in full respect of European values, we deeply deplore the human cost and the tragic consequences of the aggression against Ukraine. Recognizing the impact on scientific space exploration, the European Space Agency aligns itself fully with the sanctions imposed by Member States on Russia.


The Board of Directors of the European Space Agency, meeting in Paris on March 16 and 17, took stock of the situation arising from the war in Ukraine in relation to ExoMars and unanimously:

  • They recognized the current impossibility to implement continued cooperation with Roscosmos on the ExoMars rover mission with its launch in 2022 and instructed the Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) to take appropriate measures to suspend the cooperation activities accordingly;
  • The Director General of the European Space Agency (ESA) has commissioned an accelerated industrial study to better identify the options available to advance the ExoMars rover mission.


Following Roscosmos’ decision to withdraw its personnel from the European spaceport in French Guiana, all missions that were to be launched by Soyuz have been suspended. These are mainly four corporate missions for which ESA is the launch service acquisition entity (Galileo M10, Galileo M11, Euclid and EarthCare) and one additional corporate launch.

Accordingly, ESA’s Director General has launched an assessment of potential alternative launch services for these missions, which will include a review of Ariane 6’s first exploration flights. A robust launch statement will be provided for the purposes of launch of ESA missions, including spacecraft originally scheduled to be launched by Soyuz from Kourou, to Member States.

international space station

The International Space Station program continues to operate symbolically. The primary objective is to continue the safe operations of the International Space Station, including maintaining crew safety.

path to follow

Based on the first analysis of the technical and programmatic implications of all other activities affected by the war in Ukraine, the Director-General intends to convene a special session of the Board in the coming weeks to present specific proposals for decision. by the Member States.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space.

The European Space Agency (ESA) is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, whose mission is to shape the development of Europe’s space capacity and to ensure that investments in space benefit the citizens of Europe. Europe and the world.

ESA has 22 member states: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden , Switzerland and United Kingdom. Kingdom. Slovenia, Latvia and Lithuania are associate members.

The European Space Agency has established formal cooperation with six Member States of the European Union. Canada participates in certain ESA programs under a cooperation agreement.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, the European Space Agency can carry out programs and activities beyond the framework of any European country. It works in particular with the European Union on the implementation of the Galileo and Copernicus programs, as well as with Eumetsat on the development of meteorological missions.

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