Artist's view of ExoMars descent module. ExoMars lander will deliver the rover to a specific location using an inflatable braking device or parachute system. Using conventional solar arrays to generate electricity, the rover will be able to travel a few kilometres over the rocky orange-red surface of Mars. The vehicle will be capable of operating autonomously by using onboard software and will navigate by using optical sensors. Included in its approximately 40kg exobiology payload will be a lightweight drilling system, a sampling and handling device, and a set of scientific instruments to search for signs of past or present life.
Aurora Programme is part of Europe's strategy for space, endorsed by the European Union Council of Research and the ESA Council in 2001. The objective of the Aurora is first to formulate and then to implement a European long-term plan for the robotic and human exploration of solar system, with Mars, the Moon and the asteroids as the most likely targets.