4 July 2023
Stitching Mars Pathfinder's Historic Landing
- July 2023
On July 4th, 1997, Mars Pathfinder made history as it touched down on the red planet's Ares Vallis. This momentous occasion showcased a groundbreaking approach to delivering a lander and robotic rover to Mars.
Coats, as a proud contributor, played a crucial role in this mission by providing our exceptional braided liquid crystal polymer thread, Coats Atlantis.
Our thread sewed the airbag assembly that safely cushioned the Pathfinder's landing, a mission-critical application.
Pathfinder, surpassing expectations, far outlived its primary design life. Throughout its journey, it diligently collected and transmitted an astonishing 2.3 billion bits of information. The lander and rover carried an array of scientific instruments, examining the Martian atmosphere, climate, geology, rocks, and soil composition. Over 16,500 images from the lander and 550 images from the rover painted a vivid picture of the Martian landscape.
Additionally, chemical analyses of rocks and soil, along with extensive weather data, provided valuable insights. These findings suggested that Mars once boasted a warmer and wetter environment in its ancient past. The success of the Pathfinder mission, coupled with Coats' contribution, marks an extraordinary milestone in space exploration. We are immensely proud to have played a part in this historic endeavor.