Cobham recently received two awards totalling $20.5M to provide actuators for the Mars 2020 mission. NASA has again 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.
"We believe Cobham actuators were selected for Mars 2020 due to our successful track record on the NASA Mars Curiosity Rover launch in 2012," said Bill Brown, vice president of Cobham Motion Control. "After a 350,000,000 mile journey to Mars and three years of completing daily tasks, our actuators met the challenges of the gruelling Martian atmosphere, including -120oC 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."
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," added Brown.
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.
Date: Dec 16, 2015