ESA Name Mars Rover After British Chemist Rosalind Franklin

Share
ESA Name Mars Rover After British Chemist Rosalind Franklin

Born in London in 1920, Franklin is best known for taking detailed x-ray images of DNA's double helix structure at a time when relatively little was known about DNA molecules-and for being largely ignored by the male scientists who built upon her research.

"There were many very colourful entries - Rover McRoverface I think at one point was one of the most popular names, but of course I think Rosalind Franklin is a much more fitting tribute to a great British scientist", Maj Peake added.

"It's fitting that the robot bearing her name will search for the building blocks of life on Mars, as she did so on Earth through her work on DNA", said Alice Bunn, worldwide director of the UK Space Agency.

"This name reminds us that it is in the human genes to explore", ESA director general Jan Wörner said in a statement.

As the rover is a joint venture between the ESA and the Russian space agency ROSCOSMOS, it carries a number of scientific payloads from both agencies.

Alice Bunn, worldwide director at the UK Space Agency, said: "Rosalind Franklin is one of science's most influential women, and her part in the discovery of the structure of DNA was truly ground-breaking".

In November experts meeting at the National Space Centre in Leicester chose Oxia Planum near the Martian equator as the landing site for Rosalind due to its geology and the likelihood of finding signs of life. A panel of experts selected the name and revealed it at a ceremony at the Airbus Defence and Space facility in Stevenage, United Kingdom, where engineers now are building the rover. The rover is part of the mission's second phase, which is scheduled to launch in 2020 and land on the Red Planet in March 2021.

The rover is under development in the UK.

Franklin was a pioneering British chemist and X-ray crystallographer who contributed to unravelling the double helix structure of our DNA. Her data was a part of the data used to formulate Crick and Watson's 1953 hypothesis regarding the structure of DNA. It's main aim would be to examine the surface of Mars for evidence of past life-supporting environments.

"Watson and Crick never told Franklin that they had seen her materials, and they did not directly acknowledge their debt to her work when they published their classic announcement in Nature that April", the U.S. National Library of Medicine writes. She died in 1958 and her work was more widely recognized after her death. Nobel Prizes can not be awarded posthumously, but it's unclear if Franklin would have been given credit at the time, anyway.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Republican Virginia Senate leader edited yearbook with blackface photos
Shortly afterwards, a rightwing website published a claim that Fairfax sexually assaulted Tyson. But he admitted to reporters that he wore blackface in a 1984 Michael Jackson dance contest.

New Galaxy S10 and S10E images reveal all about Samsung's upcoming phones
Do note that, unlike the Galaxy M20, the Galaxy M30 will not be available with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of internal storage. Outside of its exclusive Canary Yellow color the Galaxy S10e will come in Prism Black, Emerald Green and Pearl White.

Bank warns of no-deal recession
Most economists polled by Reuters expect interest rates to rise later this year if Brexit goes smoothly. As a result of the announcement, Sterling dropped by 0.6% versus the USA dollar at 1.285.

Trump 2020 campaign announces February 11th MAGA rally in El Paso, Texas
As it happens, violent crime was already in steep decline and continued on that path, which generally reflects national trends. And according to the El Paso Times , from 2006 to 2011, violent crime in El Paso actually increased by 17 percent.

U.S. revokes Venezuela visas, rejects dialogue with Maduro
A Venezuelan migrant from Valencia State, Perez left her home 10 months ago in search of a better life in Colombia. High protein energy supplements were also included for young Venezuelan children suffering from malnutrition.

Celtics rumored to have interest in Knicks center Enes Kanter
The offensive-minded center averaged 14.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in just 25.6 minutes over 44 games for the Knicks this season. Kanter exercised his $18.6 million player option to remain with the Knicks after he was traded from Oklahoma City in 2017.

Charges: Suspect Fired 5 Times at School Bus Windshield
Lilly then walked to the driver's side of the bus where he pulled out his 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol from its holster. Lilly told officers he feared for his safety, but the complaint says video footage shows he had retreated to a safe spot.

Raptors nearing deal for Marc Gasol
He spent 11 seasons with the Grizzlies and is the franchise's all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks and made field goals. Valanciunas is in a similar spot with his contract and has a player option for next year that's just north of $17.6 million .

A Complicated Racial History Underpins Politics In Virginia
The scandal in Virginia "shows how vulnerable Democrats can become to these attacks", Republican strategist John Feehery said. As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner. "We think the process is moving too rapidly", McShane said.

Paul Merson reveals his prediction for Man City v Chelsea FC
After Chelsea's defeat to the Cherries, Sarri admitted he was finding it hard to motivate his players. Chelsea followed that result up with an impressive 5-0 home win over Huddersfield Town.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.