ESA's ExoMars 2020 Rover Image Revealed; Space Vehicle Scheduled For Mars Mission

First Posted: Mar 28, 2017 06:53 AM EDT

The European Space Agency (ESA) has increased its budget for Mars missions, which is reportedly being invested with $500 million for the ExoMars 2020 program. Apparently, a new set of renders for the ExoMars 2020 rover are revealed, which shows the prototype destined to run on the Martian soil.

ExoMars, which made ESA disappointed after the Schiaparelli lander crashed on the Red Planet's surface, has been renewed for phase two to carry on with the research work aimed for Mars. The ExoMars 2020 rover rendered for the upcoming missions is a part of the engineering and design programs going on to ensure a successful mission like NASA's Mars 2020 program.

Even though the renders shown in the image of ESA's ExoMars 2020 rover are pretty similar to the previous model, it still features a number of new additions. For instance, the new rover will have a set of intricate components including robotic companions that will accompany the vehicle on its Mars mission.

ESA's ExoMars 2020 rover is also noted to have a main drill in the front, which is reported to be capable of drilling up to 6 feet deep. ESA noted that the drilling tool is of high significance for learning about Mars' ancient history. The agency further noted that this could help in finding water traces, biological minerals, etc. on the Red Planet with better chances.

Further equipment attached to ESA's ExoMars 2020 rover is apparently consisting of a macro camera, an infrared spectrometer, ground-based radar system, a neutron detector and multispectral imaging components. The rendered rover's mast is added with the high-end PanCam for providing 2D and 3D light images, which ESA will receive through the transmission.

While ESA's ExoMars 2020 rover is still at an initial stage, the agency is surveying for potential landing sites on Mars, according to Tech Crunch. For now, there are no updates on where the rover will land in the upcoming time. According to reports, the rover is set for launch in July 2020, which will later reach the Martian surface in March 2021.

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