Lithium-ion batteries
Yardney Technical Products
Pawcatuck, CT

NASA’s Phoenix Mars Lander landed safely near the planet’s north polar icecap in May. Phoenix relies on advanced lithiumion batteries from Yardney Technical Products to dig and look for water, seeking a habitable environment. The Phoenix batteries provide power at night when there is no sunlight for the solar panels to convert to electricity. They can also be used any time when a task requires more power than the primary power source can deliver.

ImageNASA also had Yardney develop lithium-ion batteries for the Spirit Mars Exploration Rover (MER) and its twin, Opportunity. The spacecraft were launched in 2003 and landed in January 2004. They have been very successful, permitting missions exploring Mars that had been planned to last only three months, to instead be extended to more than four years and counting.

The batteries for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) and the Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle are also from Yardney’s Lithion product line of aerospace lithium-ion battery systems. Currently in development, the MSL is an expanded next-generation Mars rover planned for launch in 2009. The Orion is the manned spacecraft that will replaced the soon-to-beretired space shuttle, for missions to the International Space Station and the Moon.

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NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2008 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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