High-tech solutions for missions to the Red Planet

The cutting-edge ExoMars rover vehicle will commence its search for water on the surface of Mars in 2022. RUAG Space had a major role to play in its development and testing....

Although Earth and Mars have little in common, the existence of water has led Mars to be considered a potential habitat. The ExoMars project being conducted by the ESA and Roscosmos is setting out to answer the question of whether there really is life on the Red Planet. To help fi nd the answer, in recent months RUAG Space has been playing a major role in the ExoMars 2022 mission from its position as Europe’s leading supplier of products for the space industry. RUAG has supplied the rover computer that processes all the data, controls the module and communicates with the ground control centre. The camera mast, measuring more than a metre long, the rover’s central chassis structure and a structure for transporting the rover are all from RUAG Space as well.

A model of the rover has undergone extensive testing at RUAG Space’s site in Zurich under conditions mimicking the sandy landscape found on Mars. In the test centre there, the rover was exposed to extreme strain such as vibration and shock tests, temperature fl uctuations and simulated dust. The vehicle passed with The vehicle passed with flying colours and is now waiting to start its mission in 2022.