Name of UK-built Mars rover revealed

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She died quite young at the age of 37 in 1958.

"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", British MP Chris Skidmore said.

The European-Russian rover that will search for life on Mars has been named after British chemist and DNA double helix co-discoverer Rosalind Franklin. Franklin herself was excluded, even though her work was key to the discovery. 'Science is in our DNA and in everything we do at ESA.

Being that the rover-built at the Airbus factory in Stevenage, England-will head to Mars in 2020 to search for life, it's fitting that the machinery is named after the scientist who helped discover the shape of what life's made of.

Franklin's name was chosen from over 36,000 suggestions submitted by citizens from the European Space Agency's 22 member states. Now, ESA honored Rosalind Franklin by naming its next Mars Rover after her.

Dr. Franklin was instrumental in advancing our understanding of the building blocks of life, and so it is only appropriate that a rover bearing her name would hunt for evidence of life existing beyond the atmospheric confines of our Blue Marble.

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In a few years' time, a new rover will hopefully descend on the surface of Mars with a very human name. Franklin was unable to receive the prize as Nobel Prizes can not be awarded posthumously, but she received no mention in the acceptance speeches. This left many to believe she was not given the recognition she deserved, says BBC.

The rover was built in the United Kingdom and is created to search for traces of habitability and of life itself by roaming around on the Martian surface and drilling within the top 6.5 feet (2 meters) of the planet's surface. The rover's software will have a degree of "intelligence" and autonomy to make certain decisions on the ground and will navigate using optical sensors.

An artist's depiction of the Rosalind Franklin rover, which Europe plans to place on the Martian surface in March 2021.

Data will be sent up to the ESA's orbiting Trace Gas Orbiter spacecraft, which is hunting for both geological and biological signs of activity by measuring gasses in the Martian atmosphere.

The University of Leicester and Teledyne e2v are working on the Raman Spectrometer with STFC RAL Space providing some of the electronics, including the data processing board.

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