Carbon fiber composite Mars rover chassis under development

Swiss engineering company Scheurer Swiss GmbH is developing the part along with partner RUAG Space.
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Mars rover

Source | Scheurer Swiss GmbH

RUAG Space (Decatur, Ala., U.S.; Bern, Switzerland) has partnered with Swiss engineering company Scheurer Swiss GmbH (Volketswil, Switzerland) for the construction of the ExoMars rover.

The rover’s carbon fiber composite chassis is being developed by the European Space Agency (ESA; Paris, France), under the direction of RUAG Space and Airbus Defence and Space (Ottobrunn, Germany. According to Dominik Scheurer, Scheurer Swiss GmbH CEO, the company will be involved in the development of the chassis and in choosing a laser system for its lamination

The rover, which is named Rosalind Franklin after a British chemist, is expected to launch to Mars in 2020, and the finished suspension for the chassis is currently undergoing testing at the RUAG Space test center in Zurich.


Mars rover

Source | Scheurer Swiss GmbH

In addition, a brand-new control center for the ExoMars rover — the Rover Operations Control Centre (ROCC) — has been built in Turin, Italy. It will be the operational hub for activities and testing of the rover once it is is on the Martian surface.

“This is the crucial place on Earth from where we will listen to the rover’s instruments, see what she sees and send commands to direct the search for evidence of life on and under the surface,” says Jan Wörner, director general of the ESA. “The ExoMars rover will be the first of its kind to both move across the Mars surface and to study it at depth with a drill able to collect samples from down to two meters into the surface.”

In July 2020, a Proton rocket will launch the spacecraft into its eight-month journey to Mars.


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