thyssenkrupp and space travel
Products and innovations from thyssenkrupp are used wherever the earth's infrastructure is created, for example, in energy supply, the construction of buildings, and the further development of mobility. But we are not just tied to earthly infrastructure; our components, aluminum and electrical steel are also used in space.
Space projects are a real challenge. They require highest precision of materials and state-of-the-art technologies. In addition, the materials used must be enormously resilient in order to withstand extreme conditions in space and during space travel. Even greater than the challenge is often the fascination for space and space travel. "For me, it's a dream come true to have the opportunity to work on the next great milestones for mankind: the colonization of the Moon and the journey to Mars," says Patrick Marous, CEO of thyssenkrupp Aerospace.
On the way to Mars
So far, humans have not set foot on Mars, but they have launched a rover, a remotely operated vehicle that assists in exploring the planet. On November 26, 2011, the Curiosity rover was launched to explore the Gale crater on Mars as part of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission.
A glimpse into the future of space travel
The Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway intends to make it possible for rovers and humans to explore Mars in the future. The planned new space station will serve as a spaceport and intermediate station for crewed spaceflights. From 2033, it should also be possible to launch manned Mars missions from there. The next "first step" on a new planet is already within reach.
In the future, however, the space station will also facilitate other space travel and lunar missions. Here we have our fingers in the pie, too. Among other things, a new rock drill is to be used on the Moon to support research work there, owing the highly efficient motor to our high-tech electrical steel from thyssenkrupp Steel.
Strong start for satellites
However, thyssenkrupp products are not only used on the Moon and Mars. thyssenkrupp technology also paved the way to space travel in the past. For example, structural elements from thyssenkrupp rothe erde contributed to the success of the Ariane 5 - 503 mission in the late 1990s.
Today, Ariane 5 is still the most powerful European launcher, and enables the launching of heavy payloads into orbit. Due to its dual launch system, it can even carry two large satellites into space simultaneously.
The successor to Ariane 5, the Ariane 6 heavy-lift rocket, is still under development. Its first flight is scheduled for this year and will make Europe's space program more competitive. thyssenkrupp Aerospace supplied the aluminum plates for a thrust frame at the upper end of the rocket, among other things. Parts of the outer fairing of the Vega launch vehicle are also fitted with plates from thyssenkrupp Aerospace.
In 1998, structural elements made of aluminum from thyssenkrupp rothe erde were used in the Speltra and Sylda satellite support structures. What's special about the rings? An extremely complex cross-section with a diameter of 5.5 meters and a weight of only 23 - 57kg.
A wire-race bearing from thyssenkrupp rothe erde has also already proven its suitability for use in space. It was installed on a rotating platform on the NASA space shuttle for launching and picking up satellites.
Observe infinite expanses
In space and here on earth, solutions from thyssenkrupp are used for space exploration. This includes slewing bearings for the azimuth and elevation axes of telescopes and antennas to ensure that they can be aligned and constantly compensate for the rotation of the earth. The three-row rothe erde® wire-race bearing is used in telescopes, for example, and supports axial and radial loads through three separate raceways, thus preventing mutual interference between the raceways. This ensures particularly high stability and rigidity.
Today's modern telescopes can precisely focus on and track stars and planets even light years away, for example, the ALMA radio telescope. At an altitude of around 5,000 meters on the Chajnantor plateau in the Atacama Desert in Chile, it looks up into the sky to answer the biggest questions of our time. Slewing bearings from thyssenkrupp rothe erde ensure the precise alignment of the 66 antennas under extreme operating conditions: 70 percent humidity, high salinity, and temperature differences of up to 40° Celsius.
thyssenkrupp Aerospace introduces the next generation to space travel
It's not just thyssenkrupp Aerospace CEO Patrick Marous who dreams of space and space travel. Space travel holds a great fascination for young people in particular. Nevertheless, many of them shy away from studying STEM subjects or engineering. To get young people interested in space in the long term and show them prospects in the industry, the aerospace experts at thyssenkrupp sponsor the Mission Discovery Space Camp. At this different kind of summer camp, young people from all over the world come together to design and carry out experiments for the International Space Station (ISS) with astronauts, NASA employees, rocket scientists, and world-famous professors.
engineering. tomorrow. together. - This is the approach we take every day to develop the innovations of tomorrow, ready to take on any challenge beyond our orbit. Read more stories about impressive technologies from thyssenkrupp in our stories!