The rover was tested near the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in the Atacama Desert, which is one of the most Mars-like terrains on Earth. The 2018 mission of the ExoMars programme will deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform to the surface of Mars. A Proton rocket will be used to launch the mission, which will arrive to Mars after a nine-month journey. The mission will drill 30 times deeper beneath the surface of Mars than the currently operating Curiosity rover, reaching a depth of approximately six-and-a-half feet (two meters).
credit: UCL Mathematical and Physical Sciences Photos: ESO/G. Hudepohl