ESA has completed testing of the Rosalind Franklin Rover on the ExoMars 2020 mission, which took place at the Airbus plant in Toulouse. The BBC writes about this.
As part of the test, the Rover was in a thermal vacuum chamber where extreme Martian conditions were simulated. The Rosalind Franklin test was considered successful, the European Space Agency said.
After the tests are completed, the Rover will be delivered to the Thales Alenia Space plant, where a six-wheeled Rover with scientific instruments will be integrated into the structure of the mission’s mainlander.
In parallel, scientists are working on refining the system of parachutes that should slow down the descent of the spacecraft to Mars. The last tests of this system failed.
ESA and Roscosmos are developing the ExoMars project. In 2016, the TGO Orbiter and the Schiaparelli lander were already heading for Mars, but the Rover crashed on landing. The second stage was supposed to take place in 2018, but it was postponed to 2020. It is planned that a Russian Rover and a stationary Autonomous scientific station will be delivered to Mars on a flight module. The launch of the ExoMars probe will take place from July 25 to August 13, 2020, from the Baikonur cosmodrome on a proton-M rocket. Arrival on Mars will take place on March 19, 2021.