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Advanced Engineering 2020

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

04/11/2020 - 05/11/2020

The UK's largest annual advanced manufacturing trade show, Advanced Engineering is your opportunity to (more)

Drives & Controls Exhibition

NEC, Birmingham(B40 1NT)

25/01/2021 - 27/01/2021

The show brings together key suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment representing the multi-tasking culture (more)

Mars rover finds evidence of water

Mars rover finds evidence of water For the first time, scientists have found groundbreaking evidence of water on Mars, with the help of Maxon-powered Mars rover Opportunity. Scientists have been trying to prove the existence of water on Mars for decades and now, eight years into its expedition, the Maxon-powered rover has struck gold - or, more accurately, the coloured mineral gypsum, deposited by flowing water.

Originally expected to last just 90 days, Opportunity was able to make the momentous discovery by surviving for eight years amid the harsh environment of the red planet's surface. The telltale mineral deposits, named 'Homestake', have left scientists perplexed. According to Steve Squyres, principal investigator for Opportunity and professor at Cornell University in Ithaca, this mineral is common on Earth, but on Mars the discovery is almost a miracle: "This tells a slam-dunk story that water flowed through underground fractures in the rock."

Further analysis of the minerals beamed back to NASA's mission control centre in Pasadena, California, should help scientists begin to understand the geological history of the planet.

Opportunity boasts 39 DC motors, manufactured by Maxon Motor, which drive its robotic arm, rock abrasion tool (RAT), camera operation and, crucially, the control mechanism for the six wheels that have now propelled the 180 kilogram vehicle 35 kilometers from its landing point on the Meridiani Plain, just south of Mars' equator.
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