Airbus Broughton: ExoMars Rover ‘Bridget’ was out of this world
The children of Airbus employees were treated to a space-themed spectacle when they joined their parents for ‘Bring Your Child to Work’ day this week.
The Broughton Plant’s Innovation Space played host to a replica ExoMars Rover, a scale-model of Airbus’ record-breaking, unmanned, solar-powered Zephyr aircraft, and a pop-up planetarium to wow staff and guests alike.
There were also drone and 3D-printing demonstrations to enjoy.
Emily Merrison, Airbus’ Head of Education Liaison, said: “The ‘Bring Your Child to Work’ days are part of Airbus’ education outreach activities that we run at both our Broughton and Filton sites each year.
“About 30 children of employees were given a tour of the Broughton facilities, completed some fun engineering challenges, and got to meet ‘Bridget’, the replica ExoMars Rover. Hopefully, the experience will have inspired a few more young people to consider future careers in engineering.”
The European Space Agency’s ExoMars Rover mission will pioneer new ways to explore the surface of Mars and carry out advanced science, looking for evidence of past or present life.
The 2020 mission of the ExoMars programme will deliver a European rover and a Russian surface platform to the surface of Mars.
A Proton rocket will be used to launch the mission, which will arrive to Mars after a nine-month journey.
The ExoMars rover will travel across the Martian surface to search for signs of life.
It will collect samples with a drill and analyse them with next-generation instruments.
ExoMars will be the first mission to combine the capability to move across the surface and to study Mars at depth.
The success of the scientific experiments depends on the six-wheeled rover vehicle which is designed and built by Airbus in Stevenage, UK.
A series of prototype rovers has been used since 2007 to thoroughly evaluate the design of the locomotion and navigation systems and to perfect improvements.
Each prototype is given a nickname by the development team. First there was Bridget then Bruno and the latest is Bryan.