Europe to ask for homegrown lander for troubled ExoMars rover


The science goals set for Europe’s beleaguered ExoMars rover are still unique,  European Space Agency (ESA) officials said, as they laid down plans to ask member states to fund a new homegrown descent module.

The European ExoMars rover, named Rosalind Franklin, had been slated to launch to the Red Planet atop a Russian Proton rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in September. The rover, designed to search for traces of Martian life with a 6.6-foot-long (2 meters) subsurface drill, was to be carried to the surface inside a Russia-built entry and descent module. After years of delays, things were finally on track for a launch this year — until Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put a political end to the partnership. 


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