Development of the electro-mechanical systems of the Sample Fetch Rover for the NASA/ESA Mars Sample Return campaign.


The Mars Sample Return (MSR) campaign is a joint endeavour between the space agencies NASA and ESA, aiming to bring samples of the Martian surface back to Earth by the early 2030s. The Sample Fetch Rover (SFR) was studied for ESA to locate and retrieve the samples previously prepared by NASA’s Perseverance rover. The SFR would then deliver the samples to a lander, from which they would be launched into Mars orbit.

This research project focused on developing the major electro-mechanical systems on board the SFR: locomotion and robotic subsystems, mechanisms and their control. The architecture of the rover matured from an initial concept to preliminary design through requirements and design definition, documenting the development of this unique spacecraft as it unfolded.

Project Goals

The main goals of this project are:

  • maturing the electro-mechanical architecture of the SFR until readiness for mission adoption;
  • leading and documenting the development of the spacecraft mechanisms and robotic subsystems up to Preliminary Design Review (PDR).

In collaboration with: AirBus UK.

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