A key set of scientific instruments developed for the ExoMars rover Rosalind Franklin passed tests last month to ensure compatibility with the martian environment.
The rover’s Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD) flight model completed its thermal and vacuum sessions in Turin, Italy, at a Thales Alenia Space facility.
The ExoMars rover will be the first of its kind to both roam the Mars surface and to study it at depth. Rosalind Franklin will drill down to two metres into the surface to sample the soil, analyse its composition and search for evidence of past – and perhaps even present – life hidden underground.
A miniature laboratory inside the rover will analyse the samples and send data and images back to Earth to the scientific community, eager to learn more about our neighbouring planet.