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ExoMars Rover



The European Space Agency has announced it is launching the ExoMars Rover on a new platform in 2028.

The ExoMars Rover is part of the European Space Agency ExoMars program. The European rover, nemed Rosalind Franklin, is now planned to launch in 2028. The primary scientific objectives of the mission are to search for signs of past and present life on Mars; investigate how the water and geochemical environment varies; and investigate Martian atmospheric trace gases and their sources. The ExoMars program is also dedicated to testing and demonstrating essential flight and in-situ enabling technologies that are necessary for future exploration missions, such as an international Mars Sample Return mission.

The general outline of the mission, pending changes, is given below. The rover and a to-be-built surface platform will be carried within a single aeroshell. A descent module will use a heat shield, parachutes, thrusters, and damping systems to protect the package, reduce the speed, and allow for a controlled landing. Landing was planned for the Oxla Planum region. The rover is planned to travel several kilometers during its mission. The rover will only communicate in short sessions with Earth, once or twice a day, using a relay satellite, TBD.

Rosalind Franklin Rover

The Rosalind Franklin Rover has six wheels, three pairs that can be independently driven and steered. Each wheel can be pivoted to adjust to the rover height and tilt, and even allow a "walking" motion. An autonomous navigation allows travel of about 100 meters per sol (a martian day, about 24.66 hours), with ground commands uploaded once or twice per sol. Collision avoidance cameras and inclinometers, gyroscopes, and sun sensors are used to ensure safety during the autonomous travel. The rover is solar powered with batteries and heaters for night time survival. A mast protrudes up from the center of the rover platform, with a stereo panoramic camera (PanCam) on top.

The rover holds a suite of scientific instruments, the Pasteur payload. It includes a drill capable of reaching two meters depth. The samples are deposited in an on-board analytical laboratory containing a distribution system and instruments to examine the regolith: a visible/infrared spectrometer; a Raman spectrometer; and an organic molecule analyzer. The rover also carries remote sensing instruments in addition to the PanCam: infrared spectrometer; close-up imager; water and ice subsurface deposit instrument; subsurface hydrated mineral experiment, and subsurface multispectral imager.

The Kazachok Landing Platform, to be provided by Russia, is not going to be used, the description below has been kept with the idea that the new landing platform, now being designed, will have similar capabilities. The description of the landing platform will be updated as more information is released.

The Kazachok surface landing platform was to be contributed by Roscosmos and the Space research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IKI). It will hold 12 instrument packages provided by IKI and ESA. The platform will set down at the landing site and make all its measurements for this position over its nominal lifetime of one Earth year. The platform is disc-shaped with a diameter of 3.4 meters. The rover is mounted on top of the platform, 1 meter above the ground. The platform is supported by four landing legs. Two 3.1 meter long ramps are deployed from opposite sides of the platform. The rover drives down one of the ramps (depending on surface impediments) to reach the surface. The science instruments are mounted on the upper deck, sides, and underneath the raised platform. The mass of the platform is 827.9 kg, 45 kg of this is the science payload.

The platform carried 9 instruments provided by IKI: a camer suite; infrared spectrometer; neutron spectrometer/dosimeter; magnetometer; diode-laser spectrometer; radio thermometer; dust monitor; seismometer; and gas chromatograph / mass spectrometer. An IKI-led meteorology package contains four sensors built by ESA related institutions: pressure and humidity sensors; radiation and dust sensors; magnetometer; and a wave analyzer. Two other experiments are entirely from ESA: a radioscience experiment and a habitability, brine, irradiation, and temperature package.

Alternate Names

  • ExoMars2022
  • Rosalind Franklin

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 
Launch Vehicle: 
Launch Site: ,

Funding Agencies

  • European Space Agency (International)
  • Russian Space Agency (Russia)


  • Planetary Science

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office



NameRoleOriginal AffiliationE-mail
Dr. Jorge L VagoProgram ScientistEuropean Space
Dr. Francois SpotoProject ManagerEuropean Space
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