ExoMars Rover "Rosalind Franklin"
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Landing in 2021...
ExoMars 2020, a joint mission of ESA and Roscosmos, aims to launch the first European robotic rover to the red planet. When it lands on the surface of Mars in 2021, the Rosalind Franklin rover promises to generate as much excitement amongst the general public and scientific community as did the successful Rosetta mission to comet 67P in 2014.
Who was Rosalind Franklin?
Rosalind Franklin was a British scientist whose work in the 1950s played a vital role in the discovery of the structure of the DNA molecule, a building block of life on Earth. The rover bearing her name, built in the UK with components and instruments from all across Europe, will undertake a series of experiments searching for similar signatures of life on Mars, drilling into the soil to look for biological molecules or other signs that life existed there in the past.
About this project
The idea you see here is a detailed model of the Rosalind Franklin rover at about 1/10 scale, around 25cm long and made up of 486 parts, capturing all the important elements of the design. These include:
- 6 individually steerable, deployable wheels with triple-bogie suspension
- Fully folding solar array
- Rotating, sliding drill case, with extending drill bit
- Opening drawer for the Analytical Sample Laboratory, to receive samples from the drill
- Deployable camera mast with panning, tilting head
- Antenna horns for the WISDOM ground penetrating radar
- The instruments PanCam, CLUPI, ISEM and ADRON (inside)
The wheels, solar panels and camera mast can all be folded away into the stowed configuration for the launch and long journey to Mars.
The drill case can be rotated from the horizontal stowed position to the deployed position, and all the way around to access the opening sample drawer, as well as moved up and down. A friction mechanism inside the rover body keeps the drill case stable in any position, whilst the drill bit extends from the case in the vertical position.
Why support it?
As well as providing the opportunity for exciting new scientific discoveries in the exploration of our solar system, the Rosalind Franklin rover mission could inspire a whole new generation of scientists and engineers, male and female. The model presented here will hopefully allow young and old to learn more about this exciting project!
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You can find out more about the Exomars 2020 mission via the link below: