Europe's Next Mars Rover Is Named After a Pioneer of DNA Research

Exomars Rover Name

European Mars rover named after DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin

The Rosalind Franklin rover will also be a pioneer in studying the building blocks of life, this time on Mars. The agency chose to commemorate Franklin for her work as an X-ray crystallographer during the 1940s and '50s.

"Just as Rosalind Franklin overcame many obstacles during her career, I hope "Rosalind the rover" will successfully persevere in this exciting adventure, inspiring generations of female scientists and engineers to come".

Part of the ExoMars mission, ESA's "Rosalind Franklin" Mars Rover would also collaborate with the so-called Mars2020 rover which would also hunt for the evidence of extraterrestrials on the Red Planet for NASA.

British astronaut Tim Peake poses with a working prototype of the Rosalind Franklin ExoMars Rover following its naming ceremony at the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Stevenage, February 7, 2019.

A panel of experts has chosen Rosalind Franklin as the name for the European Space Agency's (ESA)'s upcoming Mars rover, which is now expected to begin exploring the Red Planet in 2021.

In the search for signs of life, a rover headed to Mars in 2020 will bear the name of a woman who helped unravel the mysteries of DNA here on Earth.

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When asked to describe the scope of his panel's authority, Dingell was known to point to a NASA photo of Earth, taken from space. Dingell, a World War II-era Army veteran, will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

"This name reminds us that it is in the human genes to explore", said ESA Director General Jan Woerner in a press release.

"Although we are leaving the European Union, we are not leaving ESA". By shooting X-rays at a DNA crystal and measuring the resulting image, Franklin produced some key data that let researchers James Watson and Francis Crick discover the shape of the molecule.

Artist's impression of the ExoMars rover and surface platform on the surface of Mars.

"The European Space Agency is a real asset to the work - the United Kingdom is a proud founding member and will remain committed into the future", he said.

"Watson and Crick never told Franklin that they had seen her materials, and they did not directly acknowledge their debt to her work when they published their classic announcement in Nature that April", the U.S. National Library of Medicine writes. She died in 1958, at the age of 37. Her contribution was not recognised in many science books until the 1990s.

As the first European rover to traverse the surface of Mars, Rosalind Franklin will uniquely drill down to two metres into the Martian surface allowing the rover's scientific instruments to sample and analyse the soil, determine its mineral content and composition, and search for evidence of whether past environments could once have harboured life.

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