Elizabeth Gibney provides an update on the Mars 2018 mission development at the blog site of the journal Nature. She reports that schedules are tight, but that managers are working to keep the mission on track for a 2018 launch. She reports, however, that at least some members of the project team believe a slip to a 2020 launch is a possibility. Funding for the 2018 mission also is a couple of hundred million Euros short of what is needed, and this will be addressed at a meeting of ESA's governing council in December.
Gibney's report provides more hope that the launch will occur on schedule than does the report on the website RussianSpaceWeb.com that I summarized in a previous post.