The chance to fly to Mars only comes around every 26 months. Four missions were planned to launch to Mars this summer, including three rovers, from multiple space agencies.
Two, including China’s Tianwen-1, which is carrying a rover, and the Hope Probe of the United Arab Emirates, launched last week and are now on their way to Mars. NASA’s Perseverance rover went up July 30, and Europe’s first planetary rover will have to wait a little longer to begin its journey to Mars.
The European Space Agency and Roscosmos, Russia’s space agency, have postponed the launch of their ExoMars rover. The agencies cited concerns over the coronavirus and spacecraft component readiness as reasons for the delay.
Further tests will ensure the spacecraft’s components are completed and ready. The rover was scheduled to launch in July. The joint-agency project teams are eyeing a new launch window between August and October 2022.