UK Space Agency Invites Public To Name Next Mars Rover

Posted: Jul 22 2018, 8:32pm CDT | by , Updated: Jul 22 2018, 8:35pm CDT, in News | Latest Science News

 
UK Space Agency Invites Public to Name Next Mars Rover
ExoMars 2020 rover and surface platform. Credit: ESA

The Mars rover is scheduled to launch in 2020

UK space agency is looking for public ideas on what to name its next Mars rover. The agency has begun a naming contest for its Mars rover that is scheduled to launch in 2020.

The UK built rover is part of European Space Agency’s ExoMars mission and is expected to land on Mars in 2021. The rover will travel across the planet and drill up to two meters below the surface to search for evidence of life. The samples collected from Mars surface will be analyzed by laboratory instruments inside the rover.

"Mars is a fascinating destination, a place where humans will one day work alongside robots to gather new knowledge and search for life in our Solar System. The ExoMars rover is a vital part of this journey of exploration and we are asking you to become part of this exciting mission and name the rover that will scout the Martian surface." ESA astronaut Tim Peake said in a statement.

ExoMars 2020 rover is the second of two missions in the ExoMars program. The first was started in March 2016 with the launch of Trace Gas Orbiter and Schiaparelli lander. Schiaparelli lander was intended to test the technology for future landings but the spacecraft itself crashed to the surface while attempting the landing. However, ExoMars orbiter is still circling Mars to investigate its atmosphere.

“The ExoMars missions are part of Europe's strategy to develop technology and explore around Earth, the Moon and Mars – to investigate and bring back knowledge and benefits to people on Earth,” said ESA's Director of Human and Robotic Exploration David Parker. “This competition is bound to inspire many across Europe and bring the Red Planet closer to home."

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