Curiosity Rover Lands Safely with the Help of Super Fibre Technora
Velperweg 76, 6824 BM, Arnhem
Press release date: August 13, 2012
ARNHEM, The Netherlands - Slowing Down From 1450 to 290 km/h in Less Than Two Minutes
After a 100-million-kilometre journey, NASA's Curiosity Rover arrived safely at its final destination: Mars. Once the Curiosity Rover had entered Mars's atmosphere, it slowed down - aided by its enormous parachute and Teijin's super fibres - from a speed of 1450 km per hour to 290 km per hour. And that in less than two minutes.
NASA's Curiosity Rover landed safely on the surface of Mars with the help of the largest supersonic parachute ever made. The parachute weighs 60 kilos, has a diameter of some 15 metres and is as high as a 16-storey building.
According to NASA's calculations, the parachute cords had to withstand a force of 9Gs during the landing - that is about 27,000 kilos. Although the parachute has been tested to withstand almost 37,000 kilos of force, the 80 Technora cords actually have a combined breaking strength of almost double that: 72,500 kilos.
The Technora para-aramid fibre is manufactured in Japan by Teijin Ltd. The landing of Curiosity Rover on Mars is certainly one of the most demanding applications of a super fibre that has ever taken place.
Technora is a para-aramid fibre fabricated from copolymers. It is eight times stronger than steel, combined with a great degree of dimensional stability and excellent resistance against extreme heat. These properties convinced engineers at NASA to choose the Technora cords for the supersonic parachute.
For an explanation of the parachute and the Technora cords by Dr Douglas Adams, Parachute Cognizant Engineer at NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, please see http://tinyurl.com/cs8cusj
Teijin Aramid is a subsidiary of the Teijin Group and world leader in aramids. Its products Twaron®, Sulfron®, Teijinconex® and Technora® are renowned for their strength, sustainability, safety, heat resistance and low weight and is used in different applications and markets including automotive, ballistic protection, marine, civil engineering, protective clothing, fiber optic cables and oil & gas. The four high performance fibers are produced in the Netherlands and Japan. For more information: http://www.teijinaramid.com
Source: Teijin Aramid BV