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Ewellix Planetary Roller Screw Lands on Mars

Ewellix standard planetary roller screw evolved into a unique component to help test for signs of ancient life on Mars.

Ewellix has developed and manufactured a planetary roller screw that recently landed on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Mission. Ewellix engineers in Armada, Michigan, worked in collaboration with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology to develop a roller screw component for the Perseverance Rover that would be robust enough to withstand the extreme conditions of outer space and Mars, which can reach -80°C.

After a 203-day journey, the Perseverance Rover, the largest and most advanced rover1 NASA has sent to another planet, has touched down on Mars to search for signs of ancient microbial life. The Rover’s mission is to collect Martian rocks, extract and seal samples for testing and onboard storage. The mission team of NASA scientists will then decide when and where the Perseverance Rover will leave the samples for pick up by a future mission in approximately 2031, to bring them back to Earth for detailed analysis.

Ewellix’s planetary roller screw is housed inside the sealing station on the base of the Perseverance Rover and will generate the high force required to hermetically seal the 43 sample tubes on board. The Rover has a small servo motor that drives the roller screw nut. This rotational movement is converted into linear displacement that pushes on a ram, which in turn presses the seal inside the open end of the sample tube with extremely precise force, speed and position.


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