A 1:1 scale replica of ESA’s ExoMars 2020 rover in the ‘Mars Yard’ of its ESTEC technical centre, inspected by members of the public during Sunday’s ESA Open Day in the Netherlands.
More than 7 500 visitors attended the ESA Open Day on 7 October, coming from all across Europe and beyond, as far away as Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.
ESA’s ExoMars rover, together with a Russian stationary surface science platform, is scheduled for launch in July 2020, arriving on Mars in March 2021. It will investigate how Mars has evolved and whether there may be conditions for life there.
It will travel across the martian surface and drill down to determine if evidence of life is buried underground, protected from the Sun’s radiation that bombards the surface of the 'Red Planet'. The rover will collect samples and analyse them with next-generation instruments – a fully fledged automated laboratory on Mars.
The competition to name the ExoMars rover closes at 23:59 BST (00:59 CEST) on Wednesday, 10 October.
Another testbed rover can be seen to the right of the ExoMars rover, in the 8 x 8 m terrain Mars Yard filled with different sizes of sand, gravel and rock, part of ESA’s Planetary Robotics Laboratory.
See more pictures from the ESA Open Day here.