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A rover was built to seek life on Mars



Of course, this is not part of the nine-month voyage of the European Space Agency's (ESA) ExoMars rover to Mars, but this is where the vehicle is critically tested before it enters space.

Europe's first planetary rover named "Rosalind Franklin" was now built and took the next step towards space travel. The British Airbus engineers showed the finished vehicle, which is scheduled to launch in July 2020, before it is sent on the journey.

The rover has a clear mission: to find out if there is life on Mars.

"It's a great moment to see the Rosalind Franklin Rover leave Airbus in Stevenage and I want to thank all the teams involved for their efforts," said Colin Paynter, Managing Director of Airbus Defense and Space UK.

The Rover itself is a complicated combination of instruments, all tuned to enable scientists to progressively explore the Martian surface.

It is equipped with a 2-meter drill to dig beneath the surface of Mars and discover parts of the planet that are undamaged by radiation. It is believed that the Martian surface is very radioactive, which means there is probably no life on the surface.

Last week, the rover's eyes were adjusted. More specifically, the cameras that help the vehicle detect signs of life and search for them.

  The PanCam. The camera system that could help to discover life on Mars.

The core design of the panoramic camera system called PanCam came from a team at University College London (UCL) that told CNN that their hard work was indeed "surprisingly easy".

Still, they had to overcome many challenges to develop three cameras that could withstand a journey to Mars.

When radiation and distance are not enough, temperatures on Mars can be as low as – According to Mary Carter, Pan-Cam Project Manager, overnight at 130 degrees Celsius and daytime up to 20 degrees Celsius.

  Europe sends an alien hunting camera to Mars.

In Toulouse, the rover is being tested to ensure that it can survive its launch from Earth next summer and next year. Extreme weather conditions on Mars landing on the planet in March 2021.

The British Space Agency , which made Europe's second largest contribution to the ExoMars mission with € 287 million (US $ 318 million), praised the completion of the Rover.

"When we hand over the Rover to France for final inspection, we should celebrate the tremendous efforts of hundreds of people in the UK involved in the development and construction of the Rover and its instruments," Dr. Graham Turnock, CEO of the UK Space Agency, said.

While the Rover now only moves between European countries, there is a real expectation that discoveries can be made when it finally makes the journey to another planet.

"We look forward to completing the final test laps before the rover inside the landing stage and descent module is declared ready to fly and closed to safely deliver it to the Martian surface," said Dr. David Parker, Director of Research on Humans and Robots at the European Space Agency.


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