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TenCate advanced composites launched for Mars on MAVEN orbiter

News International-French

22 Nov 2013

As a key supplier of advanced composite materials to Lockheed Martin, the company 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 analyze 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 has supported NASA and Lockheed Martin on prior Mars missions, including the Rover and Curiosity exploration vehicles. For the MAVEN orbiter TenCate Advanced Composites provided a highly stable, engineered carbon fiber-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, USA, with high modulus composite face sheets sandwiched between aluminum honeycomb sheets. The entire primary structure is only 275 pounds, 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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