The European Mars Rover Will Be Named After DNA Scientist Rosalind Franklin

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Maj Peake said: "It's an important name because Rosalind Franklin was one of the great British scientists who unlocked the secrets of human life in terms of understanding DNA and the double helix, and ExoMars is so exciting because we're searching for life and the possibility that life evolved on Mars".

James Watson and Francis Crick used her research without permission and with little credit when publishing their model of the structure of DNA in 1953. Astronaut Tim Peake has presented the new name of the ESA's Mars Rover at the Airbus factory in Stevenage where the machine is being put together, as we speak, as BBC reported.

"In the past year of Rosalind's life, I remember visiting her in hospital on the day when she was excited by the news of the [Soviet Sputnik satellite]-the very beginning of space exploration", Franklin's sister, Jenifer Glynn, told BBC. After her work on DNA, she conducted similarly groundbreaking research into the structure of plant viruses, adding to the list of accomplishments she had achieved throughout her career.

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United Kingdom engineers finished building the European space explorer at a delicate political time.

"Can we find primitive life on the Red Planet?" he asked. Franklin was unable to receive the prize as Nobel Prizes can not be awarded posthumously, but she received no mention in the acceptance speeches. Her contribution was not recognised in many science books until the 1990s.

The main aims of ExoMars is to examine the geological environment on Mars and search for evidence of environments that may have once, and perhaps could still, support life. Data from the mission will also provide invaluable input for broader studies of Martian geochemistry, environmental science and exobiology - the search for evidence of life on other planets. Scientists said it will have a degree of "intelligence" that allows it to make some rudimentary decisions on its own.

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An artist's depiction of the Rosalind Franklin rover, which Europe plans to place on the Martian surface in March 2021. A spacecraft known as the Trace Gas Orbiter, which was launched in 2016 and can detect tiny amounts of gases in the planet's atmosphere, will function as a relay center that sends commands to the rover and downloads its data to Earth.

The University of Leicester and Teledyne e2v are working on the Raman Spectrometer with STFC RAL Space providing some of the electronics, including the data processing board.

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