ExoMars rover “Rosalind Franklin” leaves Airbus en route to Mars

The Airbus manufactured ExoMars rover “Rosalind Franklin” has been shipped from Airbus in Toulouse to prime contractor Thales Alenia Space in Cannes ready for the next phase of its journey to Mars.

The European Space Agency ExoMars programme will see the rover launched in the summer of 2020 with landing on the Red Planet’s surface planned for February 2021. ExoMars was designed and assembled by Airbus in Stevenage in a purpose built bio-burden cleanroom, prior to it undergoing full environmental and vacuum testing in Toulouse in readiness for launch.

Teams in Airbus have been working hand in hand with those in Thales Alenia Space to ensure the rover is ready for its next phase of being integrated in Cannes into the Descent Module of the Spacecraft Composite.

ExoMars is a European Space Agency programme executed in cooperation with the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos with contribution of NASA. Thales Alenia Space is the Exomars mission prime and the main other industrial partners are OHB for the carrier and Lavochkin for the descent module. Rosalind integrates a laboratory for in situ exo-biology analysis developed by Thales Alenia Space Italy, and a drill system procured from Leonardo Italy. Nine scientific instruments that were delivered by science communities in Europe and in the US are already integrated within the Rover.

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