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FUTEK Celebrates Mars Rover's Latest Discovery
Release Date: 03/31/15

NASA celebrates new findings that support the possibility of preexisting life on Mars. Nearly 2.5 years ago, the Curiosity rover set down on the Martian world with a strict agenda. The rover’s goals were to investigate Martian climate and geology, determine if environmental conditions support microbial life, study the role of water, and examine planet habitability in preparation for future human exploration.

The Curiosity team recently announced another breakthrough discovery. The Mars rover unearthed its first traces of nitrogen on Mars. The nitrogen was found in form of nitric oxide after heating of Martian sediments. Nitrates are molecules that support living organisms; this discovery adds to the evidence that the planet was once habitable for life.

FUTEK developed two unique sensors for the rover. Aboard Curiosity sits one cryogenic multi-axial load and torsion sensor responsible for monitoring the rover’s drilling arm and its robotic maneuvers as it retrieves sediments for analysis. Additionally, a secondary FUTEK cryogenic load cell sits aboard to supervise the precision and force used to drill directly into the Martian surface. Both sensors are designed to operate around the clock within temperature cycles reaching 23°F to as low as -124°F.

FUTEK is beyond proud and overwhelmingly honored to be a continuous silent partner of NASA. Providing custom operating sensors for the ultra-successful Curiosity rover project has been a momentous accomplishment in FUTEK history. The FUTEK team continues to watch closely, waiting to see what the Curiosity rover reveals next.

For more information: Curiosity Rover Finds Biologically Useful Nitrogen on Mars

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