We have completed the first part of the Delivery Review Board (a bit like an exam board for the build and testing of the Rover!) and our Rosalind Franklin Rover has arrived in Cannes, France, after a short road trip from the test site in Toulouse.
The Rover has been taken out of its Bio-controlled travel container (which kept it clean and sterile during the Transport between cleanrooms) and we have tested it to make sure nothing happened during the Transport.
We are preparing to Integrate the Rover on to the Lander Platform in the coming few weeks. Once this is done, the Rover and Lander Platform will be electrical tested (to make sure everything works correctly when connected to each other), as well as Platform and then Spacecraft balancing. This is important for the Descent and Landing Dynamics- a bit like balancing a car wheel so that it doesn’t cause a vibration/disturbance.
Once the Assembly and Testing in Cannes is completed, the Spacecraft assembly or Spacecraft Composite as we call it (the Franklin Rover, Lander Platform, Descent Module, and Carrier Module) will be transported to Turin, Italy, where some remedial work on the Rover will be done before transporting it, using an Antonov aircraft, to the Launch site.
Currently, the Spacecraft and Rover will arrive in Baikonur, the launch site in Kazakhstan, in mid-May for the Launch preparations, mating with the Proton Rocket and Roll out to the Launch Pad. The Launch window opens on the 26th Jul for 16 days. We should arrive and land on Mars 19th March 2021.