Swiss motors support Mars probe

The U.S. probe InSight has successfully landed on Mars. On board are precision motors made by maxon motor, a company from the canton of Obwalden. These have already effectively opened the solar panels of the probe.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

On Monday, NASA’s InSight probe successfully landed on Mars. It will be carrying out measurements of the planet using various scientific instruments. The aim is to gain a better understanding of the planet’s structure in order to confirm or disprove existing theories about the formation of planets.

InSight is also equipped with a precision motor made by maxon motor. According to a company press release, the “DC motor” has already successfully completed its mission and opened the two solar panels on the probe. These will be powering InSight for the duration of its mission. The same motors are also used in NASA’s Opportunity rover, which has been active on Mars for more than 14 years.

A DCX 22 motor from maxon motor is also on board the probe, though it will be a little while yet before this is put to use. It will help ram a penetrometer five metres deep into the ground. Researchers intend to determine the thermal state of the interior of Mars and draw conclusions about its origin. Since Mars is a rocky planet like Earth, the scientific results may also help gain a better understanding of our own planet.

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