ExoMars will explore the Martian surface with a mobile rover and a stationary science module.
ExoMars will:• search for traces of past and present life at, and near, the Martian surface
PPARC’s investment is focussed on instruments and technology in which the UK has a proven and recognised track record, building on the heritage from Beagle 2 technology and missions such as Mars Express and Huygens. The 9 funding awards will develop areas which the UK considers to be critical, enabling academia and industry to develop flight-ready technology in time for the ExoMars mission.
The awards are for:• the Rover to explore the surface
• Fluid Inertial Simulation – to model parachute behaviour on Mars
More details on each of these and wider UK work is available in the accompanying information pack.
Professor Keith Mason, CEO of PPARC said “Mars Express has, and still is, delivering outstanding science from orbit around the Red Planet. It has revealed some amazing facts about Mars and even more amazing images – but we have unfinished business on the surface. To really understand the mysteries of Mars we need ground-truth data and ExoMars will deliver that with the rover and base station”.
Mason added,” The UK is already the second largest financial contributor to the Aurora programme in Europe – confirmation that we intend to be a major player. This latest PPARC funding will position our scientists and engineers to win leading roles in instruments and technology in the first mission, ExoMars”.
Julia Maddock | alfa
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