A brand-new control and command unit has been set up in one of the biggest European Mars yards for the ExoMars rover in Turin, Italy. The center, which was inaugurated ahead of the exploration adventure to the Red Planet by the rover in the year 2021, is named Rovers Operations Control Centre or ROCC.
The command and control unit will act as an operational hub, which will orchestrate the movement and the function of the rover. The command and control hub is named after the British X-ray crystallographer and chemist, Rosalind Elsie Franklin. The lab will be operational once it touches down the Martian surface from Kazachok, the Russian-built space platform.
Jan Worner, the Director General of European Space Agency has iterated that this is going to be an extremely critical command and control center, where every instrument of the rover will be put to test and will be maneuvered and monitored. He added that the research team would also monitor what the rover actually sees and how she sends commands to conduct the search on and below the Martian surface in pursuit of traces of life.
The ExoMars rover is going to be the first man-made object that will move as well as study the Martian surface by drilling holes as deep as 2 meters, and collect samples from beneath the surface.
However, the main control and command center that will be monitoring and directions the rover’s operations on the Marian surface, is the Aerospace Logistics Technology Engineering Company (ALTEC) in Turin. From the ALTEC premises, adjacent to the Mars yard, scientists and engineers will be working in together to monitor the operation.
The Mars yard has been doctored to resemble the Martian surface, with terrains and sandy areas, filled with rocks and boulders of different sizes, undulations, crevices and craters, made from 140-ton soil. It is a perfect place for the Rover to rehearse her activities beforehand.
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