Satnews Daily
November 22nd, 2013

TenCate Advanced Composites—En Route To Mars, Once Again (Spacecraft)

[SatNews] TenCate advanced composites were launched, once again, for Mars on the MAVEN orbiter.

TenCate Advanced Composites, as a key supplier of advanced composite materials to Lockheed Martin, supports NASA on the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution (MAVEN) orbiter that was successfully launched earlier 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.  

The core structure of the MAVEN spacecraft under construction at Lockheed Martin in Denver, Colorado.

Photo is courtesy of Lockheed Martin.

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, Colorado, 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.

To learn more about TenCate Advanced Composites, access