PPC’s products are designed to protect optical fibre in the toughest surroundings. And while conditions on Earth can be difficult, venture into space and things get a whole lot tougher – once you’ve launched, you can’t repair anything that goes wrong. So we’re delighted that our Miniflex protective tube is going to be part of the European Space Agency’s (ESA) ExoMars mission, investigating if life ever existed on the Red Planet.
The 2018 ExoMars mission will land a European rover and a Russian surface platform on Mars, with the rover then travelling autonomously across the planet, for an estimated six months, drilling to collect samples which it will then analyse using its advanced, on-board instruments. It will be first mission to combine the capability to move across the surface with the ability to study Mars at depth.
The 200kg rover will establish the physical and chemical properties of Martian samples, mainly from the subsurface. These underground samples, drilled from a depth of up to 2 metres, are more likely to include biomarkers that show potential life, since the Martian atmosphere offers little protection from radiation on the surface.