‘Shake and Bake’ test to prove Mars Rover’s red planet readiness

‘Shake and Bake’ test to prove Mars Rover’s red planet readiness

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The European Space Agency’s mission to search for life on Mars has reached an important milestone with its six-wheeled surface rover prototype ready for its “shake and bake”. Built by Airbus Defence and Space just north of London in Stevenage, Britain’s unlikely “Space City”, the so-called Structural Thermal Model is being packed off to Toulouse for a raft of tests to ensure the real ExoMars rover handles anything the red planet can throw at it. Europe’s last attempt to land a rover vehicle on the surface of Mars ended in disappointment in 2016 when Schiaparelli span out of control and slammed into the red sand. If the 2020 mission goes to plan it would be Europe’s first rover on Mars, following several successful NASA landings.