Mars rover built in Stevenage passes rigorous testing ahead of launch this summer

PUBLISHED: 11:40 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:45 13 February 2020

The ExoMars rover, which was built at Airbus in Stevenage, has passed rigorous testing in Toulouse and is set to be integrated into the descent module of the spacecraft composite ahead of launch in the summer. Picture: Courtesy of Airbus

The ExoMars rover, which was built at Airbus in Stevenage, has passed rigorous testing in Toulouse and is set to be integrated into the descent module of the spacecraft composite ahead of launch in the summer. Picture: Courtesy of Airbus

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Europe’s first ever Mars rover, which has been built in Stevenage and is set to land on the Red Planet in 2021, has now passed rigorous testing in France and is ready for the next phase of its journey.

The European Space Agency's ExoMars rover, which has been built at Airbus Defence and Space in Gunnels Wood Road, will be the first of its kind to drill up to two metres below the surface of Mars and determine if evidence of life is buried underground.

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Tests at Airbus in Toulouse have been completed on the rover and it has been shipped to prime contractor Thales Alenia Space in Cannes, where it will be integrated into the descent module of the spacecraft composite.

The rocket carrying the rover is due to launch from Russia in the summer and land on Mars in February.

The six-wheeled solar-powered rover features nine instruments which will help scientists conduct a step-by-step exploration of Mars.


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