Since a NASA rover first began exploring the surface of Mars in 2012, Rawlplug has had the great opportunity of testing its products in some of the galaxy’s most-demanding conditions.
Screws manufactured by the Rawlplug subsidiary Łańcucką Fabrykę Śrub (Łańcut Screw Factory) have been used to join highly advanced technological elements used in the NASA rover, Curiosity, which has been collecting data from the surface of the so-called red planet for almost four years now.
What is the Curiosity mission?
The Curiosity mission is part of the government-sponsored Mars Science Laboratory initiative. The Curiosity mission would not have been possible without the provision of NASA’s most resilient and technologically advanced rovers. The mission was originally scheduled to last one Martian year, i.e. 687 Earth days. However, given the durability and build quality of the Curiosity explorer and success of the mission, in December 2012 the duration of the mission was extended indefinitely.
The exploration of Mars’ surface is focused on a number of key objectives, including:
- Evaluate the potential for life on Mars
- Understand the meteorological conditions
- Search for biogenic elements
- Measure the level of moisture in the soil and search for associated water and minerals
- Measure the level of natural background radiation present in the planet’s atmospher
- Study the composition of the planet’s rocks and soil
- Characterisation of the possible hydrological cycles observed on the planet
Rawlplug products tested in the most-extreme conditions
The Rawlplug part used in the construction of the Curiosity rover was the Rawlplug DIN 7984 screw. The Rawlplug DIN 7984 is manufactured at the Łańcut Screw Factory in Poland. Given the demanding nature of the mission, not a single construction element could be chosen without stringent testing and the appropriate level of due diligence when selecting materials and components. All elements used must be capable of withstanding temperatures as low as -127 and as high as 40 degrees Celsius. What’s more, the ever presence of ash and low levels of moisture in the air combine to create a particularly unforgiving environment for all components and equipment used.
Rawlplug to be part of Mars 2020 mission?
Almost as soon as the Curiosity rover landed on Mars, NASA set about building the next generation of rover. The materials used on the Curiosity serve as a natural foundation for future evolution. Given the durability shown by Rawlplug products in the Curiosity mission, it is our hope that they will continue to be used in future explorations of Mars.
The fact that standard-grade screws, manufactured at Rawlplug’s Łańcut Screw Factory in Poland, withstand the conditions found in space and on Mars is testament to their quality and confirms their status as among the very best available on the market. We sincerely hope to be part of this exciting adventure for years to come.
Marek Mokot, Chairman of the Board in Koelner Łańcut Screw Factory