There are, however, many hurdles still in front of the successful implementation of the missions, not least a budget shortfall on the side of the Europeans.
Esa had originally cost-capped the ExoMars projects at a billion euros, but the withdrawal of the US space agency (Nasa) and the consequent reorganisation of the ventures will probably add several hundred million euros to the sum so far raised.
“Of course, it’s not straightforward, and the agency will need to do some homework to find the necessary money.”
In short, the Europeans can’t afford it either.
And why should they? Back when the United States put a man on the moon, most people assumed that there was a universe and we should try to explore it. Didn’t astronauts read Genesis while floating in space and celebrate communion on the moon?
No generally held philosophical perspective required that there be life on other planets, let alone alien civilizations. But there might be, of course. In which case, … boldly go.
Ah, such limited, conventional thinking … Today, extraterrestrial life (including alien civilizations) is simply assumed to exist because it upholds the Saganesque idea that life on Earth is an accidental product of blind forces of nature. It’s all true somehow, somewhere. But why spend money or risk life on it? Especially when there are infinite universes anyway, so anything we can just make up may be true somewhere?
Atheism’s influence on cosmology has been grave.
See also: Sudden inspiration (to avoid budget axe swing): Life on Mars more testable than life on Earth!