Why NASA uses conventional plastic ties on rovers

(ORDO NEWS) — Not so long ago, NASA published pictures of the Curiosity wheels, and attentive viewers noticed that some of the rover’s cables are held together with plastic ties, which are sold in any store.

Many were surprised to see fasteners on NASA rovers sold in ordinary hardware stores. However, the “space” version of zip ties is still different from the terrestrial version – their material is much more durable and resistant to radiation.

The fact that NASA secures the cables to the rover with ordinary plastic cable ties, which are sold in the store, surprised many people. Some even thought this photo might be fake. And this is not the first time that attentive space lovers are surprised by the agency’s “resourcefulness” – when the Perseverance rover landed on the planet’s surface in February this year, social media users also noticed plastic ties next to its wheels.

In fact, these photos are more than real. Yes, NASA uses cheap mounts to create rovers, but this is not done because of cost savings or laziness, but because such a design turned out to be the most reliable and optimal in all respects.

But how did ordinary cheap plastic survive the journey from Earth to the Red Planet, exposure to radioactive rays and the tenuous Martian atmosphere? NASA assures all skeptics that it thoroughly checks all the components of the rovers before sending them on an interplanetary journey. During the tests, experts check how the plastic will behave in certain conditions, and then decide on its use.

Designed for use outside the earth’s atmosphere, these screeds are made from Tefzel ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) resin, designed to withstand extreme temperatures and high UV intensity – 2,000 times more than conventional store-bought nylon fasteners can withstand.

Based on materials from Science Alert.


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