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First deep drilling success for ExoMars

Written by  Wednesday, 15 September 2021 08:49
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Drilling on Mars-like terrain

ESA’s Rosalind Franklin twin rover on Earth has drilled down and extracted samples 1.7 metres into the ground – much deeper than any other martian rover has ever attempted.

ExoMars twin rover and the martian rocks
ExoMars twin rover and the martian rocks

The rover has demonstrated that it can follow precise trajectories and survey the environment on and below the surface with its instruments, including cameras, spectrometers and a sub-surface sounding radar and neutron detector.

In parallel, the real Rosalind Franklin rover is being prepared for its flight to Mars in nearly a year’s time – the launch window for ExoMars opens on 20 September 2022.

Notes to editors
The ExoMars programme is a joint endeavour between ESA and Roscosmos. In Europe, The rover is a joint venture between Thales Alenia Space – Italia (67%) and Leonardo (33%). Thales is the industrial prime, Leonardo providing the drill, OHB the complex laboratory mechanisms and nine different instrument teams from ESA Member States, NASA/JPL and IKI/Roscosmos providing the payload. Astrium Ltd. (ASU) is responsible for the rover vehicle.

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