Devices Execute Critical Separations for Phoenix Lander
- Created on Saturday, 01 November 2008
Hi-Shear separation devices
Hi-Shear Technology Corp.
Hi-Shear separation nuts and pressure cartridges recently were used on the Phoenix Mars lander after being exposed to the cold temperatures and harsh environments of space for nine-and-a-half months. The Phoenix lander landed on Mars on May 25, 2008, and the Hi-Shear devices executed the Critical Cruise Stage Separation, Backshell Separation, and Heatshield Separation for a successful landing and operation on the surface of Mars. The spacecraft targeted the circumpolar region using a robotic arm to dig through the protective top soil layer to the water ice below, and to ultimately bring both soil and water ice to the lander platform for analysis.
Hi-Shear separation devices are gas-activated mechanical devices and subsystems utilized for satellites and launch vehicles. These mechanical devices include separation nuts, separation bolts, thrusters, wing/fin actuators, cutters, and pin pullers. The separation nut and separation bolt devices are designed for use as standard high-strength fastening hardware, with the ability to rapidly separate and/or release components or structures on command.
Hi-Shear also has been awarded a contract for initial development of the Forward Bay Cover (FBC) Jettison Actuator for NASA’s Orion crew exploration module vehicle program. Three expendable FBC actuators are planned for use on each Orion flight. Orion, intended as the replacement for the space shuttle fleet, will be designed to have a service life of more than 20 years.
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