Europe’s ExoMars Rover Mission Boosted by NASA

0 0
Read Time:2 Minute

Europe and NASA Partner for ExoMars Rover Mission to the Red Planet

Europe’s ExoMars rover mission to Mars, previously delayed, has received a significant boost with a projected launch scheduled for 2028. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA) have formalized their collaboration through a memorandum of understanding signed on May 16. This partnership will see the deployment of a life-seeking rover named Rosalind Franklin to Mars.

The ExoMars project initially faced setbacks due to the termination of ties between ESA and Russia’s Roscosmos, the former primary collaborator on the mission. This separation followed the Russian invasion of Ukraine, leading to a missed launch window and a rescheduled mission for 2028, as Mars and Earth align properly for interplanetary journeys only once every 26 months.

Enhanced Synergies and Collaborations

Now, ESA, its member states, European industry, and NASA are working together to establish new synergies and alliances for the mission. Under the revised agreement, NASA’s Launch Services Program will secure a commercial U.S. rocket to launch the Rosalind Franklin rover. Additionally, NASA will contribute crucial components, including part of the propulsion system required for the rover’s descent on Mars and lightweight radioisotope heater units (RHUs).

The RHUs will be provided through a collaboration between NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Simultaneously, European efforts to develop and certify a RHU for the mission will continue, spearheaded by the United Kingdom under the ESA GSTP/ENDURE program. This initiative aims to deliver a comprehensive European radioisotope heat and power system capability by the end of the decade.

Scientific Endeavors of Rosalind Franklin

The ExoMars rover, Rosalind Franklin, is equipped to drill up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) below the Martian surface, accessing samples shielded from surface radiation and extreme temperatures. In an interview with Space.com, ESA Director General Josef Aschbacher highlighted the significance of the mission in exploring Mars’s potential for past or current life forms.

“It will drill into the surface, which is quite unique. There’s no chance to find life on the surface. You have to go down, and exobiologists are saying at least 1.5 meters, and we go down 2 meters,” said Aschbacher.

Aschbacher emphasized the excitement surrounding the possibility of discovering microbial life on Mars and the subsequent analysis of DNA similarities or differences. The exploration mission holds immense scientific potential, offering unprecedented insights into the planet’s geological history and potential habitability.

The collaboration between Europe and NASA for the ExoMars mission represents a milestone in space exploration, combining expertise and resources to push the boundaries of scientific discovery beyond Earth’s borders.

Image/Photo credit: source url

About Post Author

Chris Jones

Hey there! 👋 I'm Chris, 34 yo from Toronto (CA), I'm a journalist with a PhD in journalism and mass communication. For 5 years, I worked for some local publications as an envoy and reporter. Today, I work as 'content publisher' for InformOverload. 📰🌐 Passionate about global news, I cover a wide range of topics including technology, business, healthcare, sports, finance, and more. If you want to know more or interact with me, visit my social channels, or send me a message.
Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %