So what is the Rosalind Franklin Rover?
The Rosalind Franklin rover is probably the biggest part of the ExoMars Mission.
The rover is a little bit like a car. It’s the part that can drive all over Mars once it’s there, does all the exploring and the experiments.
The rover weighs around 700lbs, is two and a half metres tall and was named after the English chemist and DNA pioneer, Rosalind Franklin.
The rover doesn’t sound too different to M.A.X?
They have a lot of similarities.
Both M.A.X and the rover can power themselves – M.A.X. has an internal power pack, whilst Rosalind generates her power through solar panels.
M.A.X has optical scanners to “see” what’s around and Rosalind creates digital maps from navigation stereo cameras that help to plan her routes.
What else makes the Rosalind Franklin Rover special?
Rosalind’s got six wheels located in pairs. Each wheel can be independently steered and driven, so in a way she can almost walk.
That sort of control’s going to be critical when crossing sandy dunes!
The rover’s also equipped with a 2-metre drill that will be used to collect samples.
So the rover can collect samples, what does it do with the samples?
The rover has a very small, but very powerful, analytical laboratory inside it!
So once it’s collected a sample it can run it’s own experiments on the samples and tell the scientists on Earth what it found.
How do the test results get back to earth?
There is no plan to ever bring the Rosalind Franklin Rover back to earth so it will send messages to earth with teh test results.
Scientist can also send instructions to the rover to control what it does and where it goes.
because of the orbits of Earth and Mars though, messages can only be send between earth and the rover twice a day.
Thunderbirds Are Go: Mission To Mars
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