By Alex Glenn • 18 January 2022 • 11:25
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The UK gets set to search for signs of life on Mars with the Rosalind Franklin Mars rover.
The rover from the European Space Agency (ESA) features some of the best technology that the UK’s space sector has to offer. Months of successful testing are now behind the team of experts involved in the project. In January some minor tuning will still be carried out but the rover is set to head to Mars with a planned launch date in September.
Sue Horne, Head of Space Exploration at the UK Space Agency, said: “The Rosalind Franklin rover showcases some of the best of the UK’s space sector and its search for signs of life on Mars will inspire future generations of scientists and engineers.
“It’s very exciting to see this flagship mission pass the latest tests and see the fruition of many years’ hard work as we look forward to the launch later this year.”
Pietro Baglioni, ESA’s ExoMars rover team leader explained: “The rover is ready, and together with the recent drop test success for the parachutes, we are positive to be in time for the September launch date.”
The rover was built by Airbus in Stevenage. According to the government: “The UCL Mullard Space Science Laboratory led on a key instrument known as the PanCam, a high-resolution 3D camera which will look at the terrain and rocks to try to detect signs of life.
“The University of Leicester, Teledyne e2v and STFC RAL Space worked on the Raman Spectrometer which will use laser light to identify particular minerals and organic compounds and search for life.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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