MOSCOW, October 3 (RIA Novosti) - Russian scientists have developed a unique mechanism for the rover's descent to the surface of Mars, Lev Zeleny, the head of the Russian Space Research Institute said on Friday.
"Our European colleagues want maximum safety for the rover, for it to be able to slide down, if necessary, to the surface of Mars in any direction. We have developed such a system," Zeleny said, adding that the solution presupposes the construction of two ramps upon which the rover will be able to drive off the landing deck.
The mechanism has been designed specifically for the joint EU-Russia ExoMars research project.
In the spring of 2012, the European Space Agency and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) agreed on the development of the so-called ExoMars program.
The research program includes the launch of the Trace Gas Orbiter (TGO) in 2016, with the goal of collecting data on atmospheric gases present in low concentrations. The project also involves the exploration of ice found in Mars' soil, as well as landing the ExoMars Entry, Descent and Landing Demonstrator Module (EDM).
The Mars rover is expected to land in 2018 and perform a geological analysis of the planet's soil and search for traces of life.
In August Daniil Rodionov, a Russian scientific supervisor of the project, said that Russia will create a landing deck and provide a range of unique scientific equipment for the Russian-European Mars mission.