Europe and Russia’s mission to Mars runs into a speed bump after two failed parachute tests

Europe and Russia’s joint robotic mission to Mars has hit a snag after the parachutes needed for landing the spacecraft on the Red Planet failed in two back-to-back tests. There isn’t much time left to fix and test the issue before its scheduled launch in the summer of 2020. If the mission team cannot meet the 2020 deadline, they’ll have to wait until 2022 to try again.
The European Space Agency (ESA) and Roscosmos, Russia’s national space corporation, have been working together for the last decade on this mission called ExoMars. The goal of the two-phase program is to send a series of spacecraft to Mars to search for signs of life, either from above the planet or from its surface. The first phase occurred in 2016 when the organizations…

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