European Mars Rover Named After Iconic Scientist Rosalind Franklin

Europe’s future Mars rover, scheduled to launch in 2020, will be named after well-known scientist Rosalind Franklin. She was a famous scientist and co-discoverer of DNA’s double helix structure. Dr. Franklin used x-ray crystallography to perform a brilliant task. Thus she unrolled a significant discovery in understanding the framework and operation of DNA. Rosalind’s name is now linked to an Oxford research institute and a robot developed by the UK. Last year, the UK’s space agency declared a contest to name the probe. People across the European Union suggested 36,000 names for the rover. In the end, a group of experts selected the winning name – Dr. Franklin. British astronaut Tim Peake and science minister Chris Skidmore announced the results on Thursday.

According to Peake, it is a crucial name because Rosalind was one of the great and iconic British scientists. She unveiled the mystery of the human body by describing the structure of DNA. Peake added ExoMars is an inspiring mission because they are searching for life. Besides, researchers suspect that life evolved on Mars. Jenifer Glynn, Franklin’s sister, refreshed some old memories of the scientist. She said Franklin was very excited about the Soviet Sputnik satellite at the primary stages of space exploration. Unfortunately, it was the last year of Franklin’s life. But she could never have thought that after 60 years there would be a probe traveling to Mars with her name.

The ExoMars mission is a joint venture of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Russia’s Roscosmos. During the ExoMars mission, the rover will drill into the Red land and examine the soil. The probe will be capable of driving over the rough surface. It will also have cameras, radar, and an onboard laboratory. The rover will analyze the rock and soil samples in the aboard lab. The U.K. built probe would discover traces of habitability and the existence of life. If Franklin rover lands on the Martian surface successfully, it would be Europe’s first step on Mars. But landing on the red planet is not a simple operation. Mar’s strong gravitational force and thin atmosphere are primary barriers in the successful landing of the mission. The space agency anticipates that the Rosalind Franklin rover will drive the success.

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