Europe halts moon exploration with Russia

The European Space Agency has decided to halt cooperation on moon missions with Russia due to that country’s ongoing war on Ukraine.

ESA officials announced the decision on Wednesday (April 13) after a meeting of its member countries.

The decision means a European camera experiment called Pilot D will not fly on Russia’s planned Lunar 25 moon lander, which was to launch later this year.

Europe will also pull out of collaborations on Russia’s planned Lunar 26 lander and the Lunar 27 moon rover, which was expected to use a European-built navigation system and subsurface drill.

Europe is also looking for ways to replace the Ukrainian-built rocket engines used on its Vega rocket amid fears that their manufacturer Yuzhmash in Dnipro, Ukraine, may be unable to continue to supply the engines.

“We now have sufficient engines for 2022 and 2023,” ESA’s director-general Josef Aschbacher said. “We are working on options for 2024 and onwards based on different technologies.”

Meanwhile, there has been another space industries developing from Russia’s war on Ukraine this week.