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The Mars Rover

£1.6 million Scisys deal is out of this world

Chippenham-based software company SCISYS has signed a £1.6 million deal with Airbus Defence and Space Ltd to develop software for the Mars rover as part of the European Space Agency’s 2018 mission to Mars.

The VISLOC software is responsible for self-localising and navigating the rover on the surface of Mars.

The European Space Agency established the ExoMars programme to investigate the Martian environment and to demonstrate new technologies paving the way for a future Mars sample return mission in the 2020s.

As part of ExoMars ESA will in 2018 launch, land and operate a robotic rover to explore the planet.

Dr Horst Wulf, divisional director Space of SCISYS said: “This is an impressive result for SCISYS.

“Over the past years our Space Robotics team has gained significant experience and developed technical capabilities which are leading in Europe.

“This combined with our onboard software track record helped position ourselves to successfully compete for this contract.”

Klaus Heidrich, CEO of SCISYS added: “SCISYS feels tremendous pride in being able to contribute to this prestigious European mission to Mars. It furthermore demonstrates the UK’s leading position in robotics and fully justifies the investment the UK government is making in this domain.”