Under the brand name TenCate Thermo-Lite, TenCate Advanced Composites USA supplied various quality thermoset composite materials for the Phoenix Mars Lander that made a successful landing on Mars last week.
TenCate Advanced Composites USA credits its leading position in the (American) space industry to years of experience as a materials supplier and developer. Because of the local conditions and considerable costs involved in setting up a mission to Mars, it is important not to compromise on the materials used. All materials of the Phoenix Mars Lander must be, and remain, completely reliable under the most extreme conditions.
The materials TenCate Advanced Composites USA supplied for the Phoenix Mars Lander include:
- Carbon-cyanate ester tapes (M55J): a type of carbon with extremely high tensile and compressive strength, which has a resin system that can cope with the conditions on Mars.
On board the Phoenix Mars Lander there are two science decks. The sides of the decks were built with TenCate materials. Also, TenCate composite was used for a small door. For both the heat shield and the back shield that encase the Lander, TenCate supplied composite coating, tape and fabric. Furthermore, the telecom panel made from composite honeycomb has a radar antenna for landing which was also developed using Tencate composite. And finally, NASA used TenCate composite for the shell of the Lander.