Started by Tank, August 05, 2012, 08:05:20 PM
QuoteImage Credit: NASAHave you heard the one about NASA spending millions to develop a pen that would write in space, while the Soviet Union used pencils?Well, that story is a big fat myth, but the refrain 'simple is best' isn't wrong. For example, to secure any loose cables, pipes, or even equipment on Mars rovers, NASA does indeed use zip ties - quite similar to the ones you can buy at the hardware store.This fact recently bemused our Instagram fans, with many deciding that the photo of Curiosity's worn-down wheels we recently published was fake - due to some zip ties clearly visible in the shot.This isn't the first time the internet has been enthralled with NASA's use of zip ties, either. Back when Perseverance landed on the red planet in February, there was a similar wave of surprise sloshing across social media.[. . .]If you're wondering how plastic can survive a 560-million-kilometer (350-million-mile) journey, a 1,300 C (2,370 F) fall to the surface, and - in Curiosity's case - almost nine years of ultraviolet radiation (UV) and harsh Martian conditions, you've come to the right place.NASA can assure all amateur cable tie enthusiasts that space engineers thought of this before sending their expensive equipment to another planet.The zip ties intended for extraterrestrial use are made of Tefzel ETFE (ethylene-tetrafluoroethylene) resins designed for extreme temperatures, high UV levels, and 2,000 times more radiation than what you'd find in the standard plastic nylon version.[Continues . . .]
Quote from: Dark Lightning on April 13, 2021, 03:09:29 PMWe didn't use those fauncy NASA style Zip-ties, but regular ones are used extensively to hold the electrical wiring in place on spacecraft. As is lacing tape, which is just nylon braid that looks like a thin shoelace. It's all about keeping the weight to a minimum while restraining the parts. They could have made special brackets, but those would be 10s of thousands of dollars in design and production, on top of the weight.
Quote from: Randy on April 14, 2021, 04:25:12 AMQuote from: Dark Lightning on April 13, 2021, 03:09:29 PMWe didn't use those fauncy NASA style Zip-ties, but regular ones are used extensively to hold the electrical wiring in place on spacecraft. As is lacing tape, which is just nylon braid that looks like a thin shoelace. It's all about keeping the weight to a minimum while restraining the parts. They could have made special brackets, but those would be 10s of thousands of dollars in design and production, on top of the weight.Billy Rubin knows all about zip-lock ties.
QuoteAfter completing a major software update in April, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover took a last look at "Marker Band Valley" before leaving it behind, capturing a "postcard" of the scene.The postcard is an artistic interpretation of the landscape, with color added over two black-and-white panoramas captured by Curiosity's navigation cameras. The views were taken on April 8 at 9:20 a.m. and 3:40 p.m. local Mars time, providing dramatically different lighting that, when combined, makes details in the scene stand out. Blue was added to parts of the postcard captured in the morning and yellow to parts taken in the afternoon, just as with a similar postcard taken by Curiosity in November 2021.The resulting image is striking. Curiosity is in the foothills of Mount Sharp, which stands 3 miles (5 kilometers) high within Gale Crater, where the rover has been exploring since landing in 2012. In the distance beyond its tracks is Marker Band Valley, a winding area in the "sulfate-bearing region" within which the rover discovered unexpected signs of an ancient lake. Farther below (at center and just to the right) are two hills – "Bolívar" and "Deepdale" – that Curiosity drove between while exploring "Paraitepuy Pass."[Continues . . .]