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History was made at 12:31am Monday, August 5th, 2012 on the fourth planet in this solar system as NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory rover Curiosity descended to a picture-perfect rocket-guided and slowed descent to a gentle, wheels-first, sky crane touchdown on the surface of the Red Planet.
Scot Forge manufactured the rover wheels and backshell plate that are both critical components and crucial to the success of this mission. The forgings were ordered by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Putting the boots on Curiosity may have been a once-in-a lifetime opportunity, but the icing on the cake came when the first image returned from Mars was a black and white photo of a Scot Forge made wheel!
The objectives of the Curiosity rover include investigating the possibility of life on Mars (its habitability), studying its climate and geology, and collecting data for any future manned mission to Mars. The rover carries a variety of scientific instruments designed by an international team.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has many sources for forgings, but ultimately Scot Forge was selected for NASA’s grandest of missions. The technology and engineering behind this program are nothing short of mind-boggling. No other country in the world has landed a rover on another planet, and the “sky crane” landing borders on Science Fiction. Truly, we have helped accomplish one of humanity’s greatest feats, and for that we should all be very proud.