Rover relies on bearings for support and analysis

Aug. 11, 2012
Rover relies on bearings for support and analysis

    Curiosity, NASA’s latest Martian rover, successfully landed on Mars, thanks partially to four sets of Real-Slim thin-section bearings from Kaydon Bearings, Muskegon, Mich. The bearings, which have a seven-inch outer diameter and a six-inch bore, support steering actuators at the Curiosity’s four corners. (One set is located on the left front wheel and is circled in the photo). They relieve some of the load on the actuators, which was critical during landing. The angular-contact bearings have built-in preload. The races and balls are made of 440C stainless steel. The bearings were sent to NASA dry so they could add a space-rated lubricant, one that would not become viscous in extreme cold or evaporate in the thin atmosphere.
    A smaller pair of Real-slim bearings are in the device used to collect rocks samples. (The device is in the upper right circle on the photo.) The device, called a thwack mechanism, keeps 150-micron pores in a sieve clean by giving the sieve an impact shock periodically. The sieve ensures only powdered rocks and soil get sent to analysis. NASA engineers decided that thin-section bearing would be the best way to handle the shock loads in the small space available and designed the assembly around them.

Resources
Kaydon Bearings, www.kaydonbearings.com

Sponsored Recommendations

Pumps Push the Boundaries of Low Temperature Technology

June 14, 2024
As an integral part of cryotechnology, KNF pumps facilitate scientific advances in cryostats, allowing them to push temperature boundaries and approach absolute zero.

The entire spectrum of drive technology

June 5, 2024
Read exciting stories about all aspects of maxon drive technology in our magazine.

MONITORING RELAYS — TYPES AND APPLICATIONS

May 15, 2024
Production equipment is expensive and needs to be protected against input abnormalities such as voltage, current, frequency, and phase to stay online and in operation for the ...

Solenoid Valve Mechanics: Understanding Force Balance Equations

May 13, 2024
When evaluating a solenoid valve for a particular application, it is important to ensure that the valve can both remain in state and transition between its de-energized and fully...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Machine Design, create an account today!