Is there business on Mars?



A Scottish company’s products played a part in the successful landing of the Mars 2020 Mission’s Perseverance Rover on the Red Planet.

Wire and cable products from Dundee‘s W.L. Gore & Associates were critical components for successful data processing and communications between the Perseverance Rover and the descent stage of the mission.

The products helped with the precise landing operation to the Martian surface until the Sky Crane enabling this operation departs.

The intense entry, descent and landing (EDL) phase began when the spacecraft reached the top of the Martian atmosphere, travelling at about 12,100 mph.

EDL ended about seven minutes later with the rover stationary on the Martian surface.

Gore said its products were selected for the mission because of their durable construction that “have been proven and trusted over time to withstand the harshest environments encountered in space”.

The same cables are also used on the actual rover, which is about the size of a car, but at 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms) it weighs significantly less.

The mission, which has high priority scientific goals, is expected to last at least one Mars year, or roughly 687 Earth days.

Gore’s space global business leader Jeff Fyfe said: “The successful Martian landing of Perseverance continues Gore’s 100% failure-free flight record and is a testament to our collaborative relationship with NASA and ESA.

“We look forward to future missions with them, as well as those from the dynamic New Space market.”

Gore Space Cables have been used in many missions over the decades — including the iconic Apollo 11 mission to the moon as well as the International Space Station, Envisat, Space Shuttle Programme, Sentinel and Hubble Space Telescope.

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