video 20-November-2017 16:09:44

ExoMars rover - a 360 degree view

27 February 2017

The 2020 mission of the ExoMars programme will deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform to the surface of Mars.

ESA's rover, pictured here, will be the first to combine the capability to move across the surface and to study Mars at depth.

The 310 kg rover will traverse the martian surface on a locomotion system composed of 3 bogie structures – pivoting undercarriages – that are connected to six flexible wheels.

At selected sites, the rover will stop and deploy the drill (inside the large grey box at the front of the rover). ExoMars' drill is the first capable of drilling 2 m into the martian surface, where ancient biomarkers may still be preserved from the harsh radiation environment on the surface. It will collect samples with the drill and deliver them to the Analytical Laboratory Drawer (ALD) in the body of the rover, via the sample delivery window (the small opening above the drill box). Within the ALD the samples will be analysed with an infrared spectrometer (MicrOmega), a raman spectrometer (RLS), and the Mars organics molecule analyser (MOMA) instrument.

The drill also contains the Mars Multispectral Imager for Subsurface Studies, Ma_MISS, which will study the walls of the borehole created by the drill to investigate the mineralogy and rock formation.

PanCam, the panoramic camera located at the top of the rover mast, 2m above the surface, will provide stereo and 3D imagery of the terrain around the rover.

The Infrared Spectrometer for ExoMars, ISEM, which is situated beneath the PanCam, will determine the major mineral composition of distant rocks, outcrops, and soils.

The Close-Up Imager, CLUPI, will acquire high-resolution, colour, close-up images of outcrops, rocks, soils, drill fines and drill core samples. In this view, CLUPI can be seen beneath the drill box, on the right.

Adron, a neutron detector to search for subsurface water and hydrated materials, and WISDOM (for Water Ice and Subsurface Deposit Observation On Mars), a ground-penetrating radar, are not visible in this image, although the two WISDOM radar antennas can be seen at the back of the rover body.

Navigation cameras (at the top of the mast) and localisation cameras (at the base of the mast) are used to determine where the rover is and where it will move.

Power is supplied to the rover by solar arrays. These are folded during the journey to Mars and deployed once the rover is on the martian surface.

Two UHF monopole antennas are used to communicate with Mars orbiters, including the Trace Gas Orbiter.


Last Update: 07 March 2017

For further information please contact: RoboticExploration@esa.int