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ESA Mars Rover Undergoing Final Tests

ESA Mars Rover Undergoing Final Tests ESA Mars Rover Undergoing Final Tests

The European Space Agency’s mission to search for life on Mars has reached an important milestone with its six-wheeled surface rover prototype expected to head to the red planet in 2020. Built by Airbus Defense and Space just north of London in Stevenage, Britain’s unlikely “Space City”, the so-called Structural Thermal Model is being packed off to Toulouse, France, for a raft of tests to ensure the real ExoMars Rover handles anything the red planet can throw at it, reported Business Day. If the 2020 mission goes to plan it would be Europe’s first rover on Mars, following several successful NASA landings. Europe’s last attempt to land a rover vehicle on the surface of Mars ended in disappointment in 2016 when Schiaparelli span out of control and slammed into the red sand. The ESA rover will be more sophisticated though, featuring a 2m exploration drill and an autonomous navigation system. Data sent back from the ESA’s Mars Express satellite are helping scientists choose the most suitable landing site.

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