ESA rover replica goes for test drive at Mars simulator in Italy

Operators of Rosalind Franklin rover practise controlling it in preparation for Martian landing in June 2023

A precise replica of the European Space Agency’s ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover has begun a series of test drives at the Aerospace Logistics Technology Engineering Company’s Mars terrain simulator in Turin, Italy.

Rover operators will practise controlling the rover in preparation for its landing on Mars’s Oxia Planum in June 2023. As it moves around the simulated Martian terrain, the ground test model is supported by a cradle attached to the facility’s roof, simulating Mars’s lower gravitational field, which is just a third that of Earth.

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