The European Space Agency ESA is collaborating with Russia’a Roscosmos with some contributions coming from NASA of USA to send a rover to Mars. The vehicle called the ExoMars is a rover which will land on Mars and search for life there. The rover will be launched onboard a Russian rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in 2020.

heated and cooled Several companies including Airbus , Leonardo, Thales Alenia Space, OHB and Lavochkin are collaborating on the mission. The ExoMars rover is built by Airbus, while the carrier is built by OHB and Descent module by Lavochkin. The rover integration was completed at Airbus in the UK with Thales Alenia Space supplying the Analytical Laboratory Drawer, OHB the complex laboratory mechanisms, Leonardo providing the drill and nine different instrument teams from ESA Member States, NASA/JPL and IKI/Roscosmos providing its Pasteur payload set.

ExoMars during TVAC

The ExoMars is presently under going Thermal Vacuum testing (TVAC) where in it will be tested for the thermal stresses that it is expected to undergo during its journey from the Earth to Mars as also during its mission on Mars. The ExoMars would be heated and cooled to temperatures that will be set to mimic two “hot” and two “cold” Martian days or sols – a sol lasts24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds. The total period for the ongoing tests is expected to be 18 days.

The ExoMars will then be integrated in Cannes and is expected to be launched during a window in July/ August 2020.