It’s very rare to give the name of scientists to a spacecraft or the rover in the space industry. But the unusual has happened, and the European Space Agency has named their Mars Rover after Rosalind Franklin. The Mars Rover is expected to visit the Red Planet in late 2020. Rosalind Franklin was a female biologist, who discovered the helio-shape of the deoxyribonucleic acid or commonly known as the DNA. She was the X-ray photographer, and a biologist and her photo of the deoxyribonucleic acid helped James Watson and Francis Crick to discover the dual-helix shape of the DNA.
Earlier, European Space Agency named this mission as ExoMars, and after sorting through 35,844 suggestions, an UK-Led panel decided to name this rover after Rosalind Franklin. The Mars rover is being assembled in the Airbus factory in The United Kingdom. The Rosalind Franklin rover will have six-wheels, essential instruments and a drill to dig deep on the planet and research the contents in the soil. The European Space Agency is planning to launch this rover by the end of 2020 and start the discovery on Martian surface.
Currently, the rover is still in the construction phase, and the ESA is waiting for all of the necessary instruments to come from their partners, notably the Russian Space Agency, ROSCOSMOS. The engineers working on this project are expecting to complete the assembly by July 2019 and then send it to Airbus Test center in Toulouse, France. Once the testing is complete, then the rover will be assembled with the capsule and then will be launched towards the Mars from Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan. The Airbus is one of the partners of ESA in this mission as they’ve to build special cleanroom to assemble the rover.