Aurora - Europe's journey to Mars

A collection of ten videos describing Aurora's mission to Mars. The topics covered in the films include:

  • Why we explore: the film explains the reasons behind scientists' search for the evidence of signs of past life on Mars
  • Astrobiology: the video explains how scientists look at life that exists in extreme environments on Earth, to see what kind of life we might see on the surface of Mars.

  • Atacama Desert: the film describes a research trip to find extremophiles that might give scientists some clues as to the kind of life that may exist on the surface of Mars.  

  • Instrument field trials: explains how the ExoMars instruments, the Pancam and Raman spectroscopy instruments can both help scientists identify areas of interest on the surface of Mars.

  • PanCam engineeringshows how precision machines are used to produce the PanCam instrument, which will be sent to the European Space Agency to be integrated on to the ExoMars rover.

  • Autonomous navigation: explains how the Mars rover technologies must be partly autonomous, since the signals from Earth to Mars take too long for every command to be send from Earth.

  • Mars Yard: looks at how the ‘Mars Yard’, at Airbus Defence and Space, Stevenage, allows engineers to test out the capabilities of the ExoMars rover.  

  • Landing Sites: talks about how challenging it is to find a scientifically compelling site for the ExoMars rover to land in.

  • Raman spectroscopy: looks at the spectrometer which shows the organic compounds that were found on the quartz, as well as the composition of the quartz itself.

  • Collaborative science: explains how scientists from many different disciplines have been brought together for the European Space Agency Aurora programme.