March 14, 2023

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ExoMars: Back on track for the red planet

Credit: European Space Agency
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Credit: European Space Agency

A year has passed since the launch of the ESA's Rosalind Franklin rover mission was put on hold, but the work has not stopped for the ExoMars teams in Europe.

In this program, the ESA Web TV crew travel back to Turin, Italy to talk to the teams and watch as new tests are being conducted with the rover's Earth twin Amalia while the real rover remains carefully stored in an ultra-clean room.

The 15-minute special program gives an update on what happened since the was canceled in 2022 because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the plan ahead, the new challenges, the latest deep drilling test and the stringent planetary protection measures in place.

Credit: European Space Agency

ESA's Rosalind Franklin rover has unique drilling capabilities and an on-board science laboratory unrivaled by any other mission in development. Its twin rover Amalia was back on its and drilled down 1.7 meters into a Martian-like ground in Italy—about 25 times deeper than any other rover has ever attempted on Mars. The also collected samples for analysis under the watchful eye of European science teams.

ESA, together with international and industrial partners, is reshaping the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin Mission with new European elements, including a lander, and a target date of 2028 for the trip to Mars.

The newly shaped Rosalind Franklin Mission will recover one of the original objectives of ExoMars—to create an independent European capability to access the surface of Mars with a sophisticated robotic payload.

More information: www.esa.int/ExoMars

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