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In just over one year on July 26, 2020, the launch window for the European Space Agency’s Mars rover (recently named Rosalind Franklin) will open. Once the mission lands on Mars, the public will have access to daily images and information about the precise location of the rover.

Jorge Vago, PhD is a project scientist on the Rosalind Franklin rover mission, and he joins the podcast to provide a glimpse into what they hope to discover, how they hope to discover it, and how this mission will be unlike any other.

Dr. Vago explains that, unlike previous missions to Mars, this one will not only explore over a half billion years further into the past, but will also drill significantly deeper than ever before—up to two meters as opposed to five to ten centimeters.

By positioning themselves in a place to study Mars in its infancy and by employing the novel strategy of digging deeper to reach samples which have been protected from cosmic radiation, they hope to collect samples which will later–after exhaustive analyses and scrutiny–allow them to announce the existence of organic molecules and the possibility of life on Mars.

Catch all the details by tuning in, and visit exploration.esa.int to learn more.

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