ExoMars Rover Science Operations Working Group (RSOWG)

The RSOWG was established in 2019 to support ESA and Roscosmos with the goal to:

1.    Optimise rover science operations, and thereby, overall rover operations;
2.    Maximise the rover mission’s science outcome (particularly regarding the search for signs of life) within the boundaries imposed by mission constraints, such as the availability of rover and data relay resources.

The RSOWG incorporates representatives from the rover’s Pasteur payload instrument teams, from the landing site selection working group (LSSWG), and from the ExoMars project/industry team, and is chaired by the ExoMars Project Scientists.

In general, the RSOWG will examine how best to prepare and execute rover operations to achieve, effectively and efficiently, the rover mission’s science objectives using the Rover and Rover Operations Control Centre (ROCC) capabilities developed by Industry.  

More specifically, the RSOWG contributes to establishing detailed science operations processes and team organisation by studying, defining/adapting, simulating, and testing exploration and measurement strategies, sequences, and plans. The RSOWG meet regularly both by teleconferences and many as part of the ExoMars Science Working Team (ESWT) face-to-face meetings, typically held twice a year. Members of the RSOWG will also participate in rover operations training.

RSOWG Sub-groups


The 'Micro' sub-group of the Rover Science Operations Working Group (RSOWG) was chartered to increase the science readiness of the mission as it relates to 'micro' spatial scales. They work on aspects such as:

  • Establishing a knowledge base of mission reference samples.
  • Preparing and exercising the Sample Analysis Protocol (SAP).
  • Applying and refining the ExoMars Biosignature Score (Vago et al., 2017).
  • Together with the Macro group, work to construct a mission-objective-coherent strategic plan grounded in astrobiology, chemistry and geologic context.

If you are involved in RSOWG Micro, please log in to Cosmos to access the Micro group page. It can also be accessed by the navigation menu on the left.


The RSOWG Macro group is tasked with issues at the macroscopic scale, i.e. ~cm to km relevant to planning, guiding and organising science operations at the Oxia Planum landing site.

A first task for the group is to perform coordinated and group-based detailed morphostratigraphic mapping exercise of the Oxia Planum landing site, focussing as a priority on the 1-sigma ellipse. The activity will result in a fine detail geospatial dataset comprising a geologic map, potential science targets, surface features and hazards at Oxia Planum to act as a basis for developing the science operations strategy.

For this work the web-GIS system 'MMGIS' is used. Access is controlled via credentials on the Cosmos domain. If you are part of the RSOWG and wish to apply for a Cosmos account to participate in the mapping exercise please request an account. Note after obtaining a Cosmos account you must also be registered as part of the Macro group to login to MMGIS. Please request list via your ESA ExoMars project science contact. For issues with your Cosmos account, such as resetting your password, please see the Cosmos FAQ.

If you are involved in RSOWG Macro, please log in to Cosmos to access the Macro group page. It can also be accessed by the navigation menu on the left.