There is concern that the Euro-Russian ExoMars 2020 mission may become ExoMars 2022.
The issue includes parachute testing and a series of snags that meet when trying to fly-qualify the provenance system. The ExoMars team continues to troubleshoot the parachute design after a failed high altitude test last week.
The upcoming ExoMars mission includes a life chase named Rosalind Franklin and a surface science platform called Kazachok, which is scheduled to launch next summer and touch the red planet in March 2021.
Related: How the Euro-Russian ExoMars missions work (Infographic)
If the mission misses the launch window for 2020, it would have to wait until at least 2022 for the next opportunity to lift. (Starting Mars mission window only opens once every 26 months.)
Several parachute tests from ExoMars have been conducted on a Swedish space company, European Space Agency (ESA) officials wrote in a statement yesterday (August 1
The first such test took place last year. It involved the largest main screen, 115 feet (35 meters) wide – greater than any interest rate that ever flew on a Mars mission. A helicopter dropped the gutter from a height of 1.2 miles (1.2 kilometers), and the parachute deployed and blew successfully, ESA officials say.
But two subsequent tests did not go so well.
"On May 28 this year, the distribution sequence for all four parachutes was tested for the first time from a height of 29 km [18 miles] – released from a stratospheric helium balloon," ESA officials wrote in the statement. "While the distribution mechanisms were activated correctly and the overall sequence ended, both main screens were damaged ."
The ExoMars team made some changes to the parachute system design before the next high-altitude test on August 5, which focused only on the 115-foot-wide gutter. The results were similar to the previous attempt: the initial steps were completed correctly, but the gutter was affected by roof damage before inflation. The test module only came down under the pull of a small pilot chute, ESA officials said.
"It is disappointing that the cautionary adjustments introduced after the anomalies in the last test have not helped us successfully pass the second test, but as always we remain focused and working to understand and correct the shortage to launch next year , "ESA ExoMars team leader Francois Spoto said in the statement.
The team plans to conduct another elevation test of a large main screen before the end of 2019. The next qualification attempt for the second main screen is expected early 2020.
Related: Occupy Mars: History of Robotic Red Planet Missions (Infographic)  Sizes of key components of the ExoMars 2020 mission. "Class =" lazy-image lazy-image-loading lazyload optional-image "onerror =" this.parentNode.replaceChild (window.missingImage (), this) " sizes = "auto" data-normal = "https://vanilla.futurecdn.net/space/media/img/missing-image.svg" data-src = "https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net /jtj7uYLoULU5CZuTMBTusU-320-80.jpg "data-srcset =" https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/jtj7uYLoULU5CZuTMBTusU-320-80.jpg 320w, https://cdn.mos.cms.futurec /jtj7uYLoULU5CZuTMBTusU-650-80.jpg 650w "data-sizes =" auto "data-original-mos =" https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/jtj7uYLoULU5CZuTMBTusU.jpg "data-pin-media =" https : //cdn.mos.cms.futurec dn.net/jtj7uYLoULU5CZuTMBTusU.jpg"/>