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TenCate Advanced Composites, a supplier of advanced composite materials to Lockheed Martin, says it is proud to be supporting NASA on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter that was successfully launched this week.
The MAVEN orbiter will analyse the upper atmosphere of Mars, which will help scientists examine how the climate of Mars has changed over time due to the loss of atmospheric gases.
TenCate says it has supported NASA and Lockheed Martin on prior Mars missions, including the Rover and Curiosity exploration vehicles.
For the MAVEN orbiter TenCate states it provided a highly stable, engineered carbon fibre-reinforced composite material that was used to fabricate the primary bus structure of the orbiter. This primary structure is cube shaped and was built by Lockheed Martin in Denver, US, with high modulus composite face sheets sandwiched between aluminium honeycomb sheets. The entire primary structure is only 275 lbs, yet can withstand the launch forces of 6 g’s, which imparts loads of up to 61,000 lbs on the launch vehicle’s interface.
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