International Journal of Astrobiology

The ExoMars rover and Pasteur payload Phase A study: an approach to experimental astrobiology

The Rover Team, Dave Barnes a1, Enrico Battistelli a1, Reinhold Bertrand a1, Francesco Butera a1, Raja Chatila a1, Alessandro Del Biancio a1, Chris Draper a1, Alex Ellery a1, Rolando Gelmi a1, Felix Ingrand a1, Charles Koeck a1, Simon Lacroix a1, Pierre Lamon a1, Chris Lee a1, Piergiovanni Magnani a1, Nildeep Patel a1, Carlo Pompei a1, Eduardo Re a1, Lutz Richter a1, Mark Rowe a1, Roland Siegwart a1, Richard Slade a1, Mark F Smith a1, Gregoire Terrien a1, Ronan Wall a1, Roger Ward a1, Lester Waugh a1 and Mark Woods a1
a1 Surrey Space Centre, University of Surrey, Guildford, GU2 7XH, UK e-mail:

Article author query
barnes d   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
battistelli e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
bertrand r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
butera f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
chatila r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
del biancio a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
draper c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ellery a   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
gelmi r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ingrand f   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
koeck c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lacroix s   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lamon p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
lee c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
magnani p   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
patel n   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
pompei c   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
re e   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
richter l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
rowe m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
siegwart r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
slade r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
f smith m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
terrien g   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
wall r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
ward r   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
waugh l   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
woods m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The Aurora programme is the European Space Agency programme of planetary exploration focused primarily on Mars. Although the long-term goals of Aurora are uncertain, the early phases of the Aurora programme are based on a number of robotic explorer missions – the first of these is the ExoMars rover mission currently scheduled for launch in 2013 (originally 2011). The ExoMars rover – developed during a Phase A study – is a 240 kg Mars rover supporting a 40 kg payload (called Pasteur) of scientific instruments specifically designed for astrobiological prospecting to search for evidence of extant or extinct life. In other words, ExoMars represents a new approach to experimental astrobiology in which scientific instruments are robotically deployed at extraterrestrial environments of astrobiological interest. Presented is an outline of the design of the rover, its robotic technology, its instrument complement and aspects of the design decisions made. ExoMars represents a highly challenging mission, both programmatically and technologically. Some comparisons are made with the highly successful Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity.

(Published Online September 20 2006)

Key Words: astrobiology instruments; experimental astrobiology; Mars exploration; robotic rover.