Rosalind Franklin rover is about to be sent to Mars in the next few months. This vehicle is being assembled by the European and Russian engineers so that it goes to the Red Planet and makes a safe landing. Many rehearsals are going on simultaneously to perfect this scientific vehicle. These rehearsals are very important to ensure that Rosalind Franklin rover remains in the control, and can be easily operated in space from earth.
Mars has a rocky and harsh terrain. It is thus difficult to ensure a safe landing and then surviving the steep slopes without any major damage. The rover is expected to safely reach the OxiaPlanum – the equatorial touchdown location which is rich in clay and minerals. This rover will be sent in space either in July or August of 2020 from Baikonur Cosmodrome.
The most exciting and important feature of this European-Russian joint project is a drill; used to drill the mineral-rich terrain of mars. It will drill 2m down the surface of Mars to check if life exists on it. Underground and away from radiation, the samples collected from here will give scientist information about Mars’ past and present. The sample collected by this Rover will be transferred to a well-equipped sterile box called the Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD). ALD has passed its test in Italy and soon will be bolted on the rover in the UK next week. Soon the other parts needed for locomotion like the Chassis and wheels, and PanCam will be attached to the rover. After the complete assembly, the rover will be transported to Toulouse, to begin with, the environmental testing. This will test the robot’s ability to withstand the vibrations and temperatures of Mars’ atmosphere.
After that, Thales Alenia Space Company, NPO lavochkin, and the OHB system will work on it and rover will be ready to start its journey.