In the memory of the DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin, the UK-made ESA’s Mars Rover that would soon search for alien life on Mars would bear her name. The name was picked from 36,000 suggestions that came from across Europe. 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.
ESA’s Upcoming Mars Rover Was Named After the DNA Pioneer Rosalind Franklin
Rosalind Franklin, who lived between 1920 and 1958 (when she died due to ovarian cancer), remained in history for contributing to the discovery of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal, and graphite.
Her X-ray images permitted her colleagues, James Watson and Francis Crick, to depict DNA’s double-helix form. Because she died in 1958, aged 37, she never received the recognition given to her male peers for deciphering the DNA. Now, ESA honored Rosalind Franklin by naming its next Mars Rover after her.
“In the last 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. She could never have imagined that over 60 years later there would be a rover sent to Mars bearing her name, but somehow that makes this project even more special,” said Jenifer Glynn, Rosalind’s sister.
ESA’s “Rosalind Franklin” Mars Rover Would Search For Past and Present Alien Life On Mars
If everything goes as planned, ESA’s “Rosalind Franklin” Mars Rover will launch towards Mars next year, and it would reach Red Planet in 2021. The six-wheeled rover is expected to drill into the surface of Mars in its search for past and present alien life on Mars.
Part of the ExoMars mission, ESA’s “Rosalind Franklin” Mars Rover would also collaborate with the so-called Mars2020 rover which would also hunt for the evidence of extraterrestrials on the Red Planet for NASA.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.