Crick, Watson, and Maurice Wilkins received the 1962 Nobel Prize for their work, but since Franklin died of cancer in 1958 at the age of 37, she could not be considered for the award. Franklin captured structural images of substances like viruses and coal, as well as the crucial biological compounds DNA and RNA, which both carry genetic information.
A British-made rover that will set off for Mars next year in search for signs of life was named yesterday after DNA pioneer Rosalind Franklin. "Science is in our DNA, and in everything we do at ESA".
The Rosalind Franklin rover - which will be used to drill down into the soil of Mars and analyze its makeup - will be launched next year in a collaborative mission with the Russian space agency.
"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.
Dr. Franklin was instrumental in advancing our understanding of the building blocks of life, and so it is only appropriate that a rover bearing her name would hunt for evidence of life existing beyond the atmospheric confines of our Blue Marble.
It's somewhat poetic, then, that a rover dedicated to finding life would be named after someone whose research was used to learn about the blueprint of life.
Once safely on Mars, the solar-powered rover has the potential to make transformative discoveries that could answer many longstanding questions surrounding the nature of the Red Planet. Franklin was unable to receive the prize as Nobel Prizes can not be awarded posthumously, but she received no mention in the acceptance speeches.
The rover will roam around the Martian surface by using electrical power generated from its solar arrays. A spacecraft known as the Trace Gas Orbiter, which was launched in 2016 and can detect tiny amounts of gases in the planet's atmosphere, will function as a relay center that sends commands to the rover and downloads its data to Earth.
What the Rosalind rover will look like on Mars.
The University of Leicester and Teledyne e2v are working on the Raman Spectrometer with STFC RAL Space providing some of the electronics, including the data processing board.