European and Russian scientists will NOT stop working together on the big Mars mission

EUROPEAN and Russian scientists working together on a mission to find signs of life on Mars will NOT stop despite the invasion of Ukraine.

Experts on both sides are planning to send a rover to the Red Planet in September, which could reveal whether something lived there billions of years ago.

Joint Missions is slated to launch in September


Joint Missions is slated to launch in SeptemberCredit: ESA

However, Russia has affected by US sanctions to undermine their space program because of the attack on neighboring Ukraine.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also said he finds it “difficult” to see how normal scientific cooperation can continue under the current circumstances.

But a leading scientist working on the upcoming Rosalind Franklin launch told The Sun it was “business as usual”.

“In my view, science overtakes politics,” said Professor Andrew Coates from University College London.

“Of course it’s a very difficult and unfortunate situation at the moment on the ground but in space we have a very good working relationship with our Russian colleagues and that is ongoing and we are accelerate the whole launch in September”.

The explorer, named after British DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin, has has been delayed from the original scheduled date in 2020.

Professor Coates, who led the construction of the ‘eye’ of the mission, said it was “important” that the plan was not changed.

“We have been waiting a long time to be able to launch this – we wrote the proposal in 2003,” he said.

If successful, the mission will drill two meters underground for biomarkers, the furthest we’ve ever dug on Mars.

This will reveal whether life existed on the planet some 3.8 billion years ago.

And this could be the first time we’ve detected signs of life anywhere else in the universe other than Earth.

If all goes on track and the launch continues without any problems, the rover will reach Mars in June next year.

It will launch from Kazakhstan in September on a Russian rocket.

On Friday, the boss of the European Space Agency Josef Aschbacher said civil space cooperation “remains a bridge”.

“ESA continues to work on all of its programs, including the launch of the ISS & ExoMars, to honor commitments to Member States and partners,” he tweeted.

“We continue to monitor developments.”

The mission will find out if Mars was once inhabited by life


The mission will find out if Mars was once inhabited by lifeCredit: Getty

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