Straton Industries assisted NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in building the precision machined components used in the drilling arm of the rover Curiosity of the The Mars Science Laboratory.
The advanced rover is one of the most technologically challenging interplanetary missions ever designed. New technologies were used to adjust its flight while descending through the Martian atmosphere, and to set the rover on the surface by lowering it on a tether from a hovering descent stage. Advanced research instruments make up a science payload 10 times the mass of instruments on NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity Mars rovers.
Rigorous testing of components and systems was essential to develop such a complex mission and prepare it for launch. Tests during the middle phases of development resulted in decisions to re-engineer key parts of the spacecraft.
The mission will explore a Mars site for a two year period where images had been taken by NASA’s orbiting spacecraft to indicate there were wet conditions in the past. The rover will check for evidence of whether ancient Mars environments had conditions favorable for supporting microbial life and preserving evidence of that life if it existed there.
The Next NASA Mars Mission is scheduled for August 2020. For more information on the mission, visit:
http://www.nasa.gov/mars and http://marsprogram.jpl.nana.gov/msl