The ExoMars rover and Pasteur payload Phase A study: an approach to experimental astrobiology

Carlo Pompei, Lutz Richter, Richard Slade, Chris Draper, Chris Lee, Eduardo Re, Pierre Lamon, Roger Ward, Gregoire Terrien, Mark Rowe, Rolando Gelmi, Reinhold Bertrand, Alessandro Del Biancio, Raja Chatila, Piergiovanni Magnani, Roland Siegwart, Ronan Wall, Charles Koeck, Francesco Butera, Mark WoodsFelix Ingrand, David Preston Barnes, Enrico Battistelli, Simon Lacroix, Mark F. Smith, Lester Waugh, Nildeep Patel, Alex Ellery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Citations (SciVal)


The Aurora programme is the European Space Agency programme of planetary exploration focused primarily on Mars. Although the long-term goals of Aurora are uncertain, the early phases of the Aurora programme are based on a number of robotic explorer missions – the first of these is the ExoMars rover mission currently scheduled for launch in 2013 (originally 2011). The ExoMars rover – developed during a Phase A study – is a 240 kg Mars rover supporting a 40 kg payload (called Pasteur) of scientific instruments specifically designed for astrobiological prospecting to search for evidence of extant or extinct life. In other words, ExoMars represents a new approach to experimental astrobiology in which scientific instruments are robotically deployed at extraterrestrial environments of astrobiological interest. Presented is an outline of the design of the rover, its robotic technology, its instrument complement and aspects of the design decisions made. ExoMars represents a highly challenging mission, both programmatically and technologically. Some comparisons are made with the highly successful Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-241
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Astrobiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


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