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ExoMars locomotion tests
Before Rosalind Franklin, the ExoMars rover, can search for signs of life on Mars, it must learn how to maneuver the landscape. Scientists and engineers are putting the rover through a series of locomotion tests to fine tune how it will respond to a challenging martian terrain.
The ExoMars mission will see Rosalind the rover and its surface platform land on Mars in 2021. There, the rover will move across many types of terrain, from fine-grained soil to large boulders and slopes to collect samples with a drill and analyse them with instruments in its onboard laboratory.
Engineers must ensure Rosalind does not get stuck in sand or topple over and that it is able to climb steep slopes and overcome rocks.