“The ExoMars rover is a planned robotic Mars rover, part of the international ExoMars programme led by the European Space Agency and the Russian Roscosmos State Corporation.
The rover is an autonomous six-wheeled terrain vehicle once designed to weigh up to 295 kg (650 lb), approximately 60% more than NASA’s 2004 Mars Exploration Rovers Spirit and Opportunity, but about one third that of NASA’s Curiosity rover launched in 2011.
In February 2012, following NASA’s withdrawal, the ESA went back to previous designs for a smaller rover, once calculated to be 207 kg (456 lb). Instrumentation will consist of the exobiology laboratory suite, known as Pasteur analytical laboratory to look for signs of biomolecules or biosignatures from past life. Among other instruments, the rover will also carry a 2-metre (6 ft 7 in) sub-surface drill to pull up samples for its on-board laboratory.
The lead builder of the ExoMars rover, the British division of Airbus Defence and Space, began procuring critical components in March 2014. In December 2014, ESA member states approved the funding for the rover, to be sent on the second launch in 2018, but insufficient funds had already started to threaten a launch delay until 2020. ...