Rosalind Franklin Essay Competition

Rosalind Franklin Essay Competition-42
Europe has been in orbit around Mars for more than 15 years and is almost a year away from launching its first rover mission, but ambitions are already running high to go one step further: returning a sample from the Red Planet.A key set of scientific instruments developed for the Exo Mars rover Rosalind Franklin passed tests last month to ensure compatibility with the martian environment.The Exo Mars rover has a brand new control centre in one of Europe’s largest Mars yards.

Europe has been in orbit around Mars for more than 15 years and is almost a year away from launching its first rover mission, but ambitions are already running high to go one step further: returning a sample from the Red Planet.A key set of scientific instruments developed for the Exo Mars rover Rosalind Franklin passed tests last month to ensure compatibility with the martian environment.The Exo Mars rover has a brand new control centre in one of Europe’s largest Mars yards.

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Long-term planning is crucial to realise the missions that investigate fundamental science questions like could life ever have evolved beyond Earth?

ESA has been exploring Mars for more than 15 years, starting with Mars Express and continuing with the two Exo Mars missions, keeping a European presence at the Red Planet into the next decade. As well as exploring the Universe and answering the big questions about our place in space we develop the satellites, rockets and technologies to get there. All this week we're highlighting different aspects of science at ESA. Eleven finalists have been chosen to have their recordings sent to the Red Planet on the Exo Mars 2020 mission.

Looking beyond Exo Mars, bringing samples back from Mars is the logical next step for robotic exploration.

ESA is already defining a concept for a sample return mission working in cooperation with NASA.

“This rover will scout the martian surface equipped with next-generation instruments – a fully-fledged automated laboratory on Mars,” says Tim.

“With it, we are building on our European heritage in robotic exploration, and at the same time devising new technologies.” The rover will relay data to Earth through the Trace Gas Orbiter, a spacecraft searching for tiny amounts of gases in the martian atmosphere that might be linked to biological or geological activity since 2016. Last November a group of experts chose Oxia Planum near the martian equator to explore an ancient environment that was once water-rich and that could have been colonised by primitive life.

ESA has a long tradition of naming its missions for great scientists, including Newton, Planck and Euclid.

“This name reminds us that it is in the human genes to explore.

An exciting new competition is giving citizens of planet Earth the opportunity to get their voices to Mars in the next phase of the Exo Mars programme.

The Exo Mars rover and platform will launch to the Red Planet in 2020.

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