ExoMars Update. The European Rover looks set for installation by end of year.
ExoMars 2020 passed a number of milestones. The European carrier module will be delivered in March. The European rover, which contains nine instruments was assembled by Airbus UK. Now in Toulouse for environmental testing. Expected to be integrated with the spacecraft by the end of the year. The spacecraft is now in the Thales Alenia Space test facilities in Cannes. This the start of the environmental and performance verification test campaign that will last until February 2020.
However, there remain some important challenges ahead for the parachute system of the descent module. Recent balloon high-altitude drop tests were unsuccessful. As a result, the next and final two drop tests, scheduled between January and March 2020, must be fully successful otherwise the mission cannot launch in 2020.
The joint ESA and Russian mission consists of four elements: a carrier module to propel the spacecraft to Mars, a descent module. A surface science platform and the Rosalind Franklin rover, which will use its drill with two meters depth to search for signs of life.
Are you following this space mission? Should it happen? Did you see the earlier Mars launch when it went wrong? Let us have your reaction.
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