HAUPPAUGE, N.Y., 17 Dec. 2015. NASA engineers working on the Mars 2020 mission have selected Cobham’s actuators to drive the rover wheels and provide steering motion, move the high-gain antenna, and perform remote sensing mast deployment. Cobham’s actuators were also selected by Malin Space Science Systems for two of the mission’s cameras. The two contract awards total $20.5 million.
Cobham Motion Control Vice President Bill Brown credits the company’s successful track record on the NASA Mars Curiosity Rover launch in 2012 for the award selections.
“After a 350 million-mile journey to Mars and three years of completing daily tasks, our actuators met the challenges of the grueling Martian atmosphere, including -120 degree Celsius temperatures and a volatile dust environment. Our range of low, medium, and high torque designs are used in almost every motion-related activity on the Curiosity Rover. The Mars 2020 mission will require the same challenges and tasks,” Brown explains.
Work under the contracts will be performed by Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions, a business unit of the Cobham Advanced Electronic Solutions sector, at the Hauppauge, New York site which specializes in high-reliability motion control solutions.
“Cobham employees are excited to again be working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) on this important mission to Mars and to contribute to the search for signs of extra-terrestrial life,” Brown continues.
The 2020 rover mission is part of the NASA Mars Exploration Program’s long-term robotic exploration of the Red Planet. Designed to advance high-priority science goals for Mars exploration, the mission will address key questions about the potential for life and challenges of future human expeditions to Mars.
Through intensive cooperation with military and commercial customers, Cobham Integrated Electronic Solutions brings together RF technology and motion control solutions for the seamless integration of high-performance systems. By sharing innovation with customers, the company is able to deliver mission success within today’s funding priorities, officials say.
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