Fiber Materials Inc. was recently highlighted in the May 2014 issue of High-Performance Composites as the supplier of the Mars Science Lab (MSL) PICA thermal protection system (TPS) in the May 2014 issue of High-Performance Composites. PICA (phenolic-impregnated carbon ablator) is a legacy material that has been used for Mars entry and Earth re-entry both in tiled and monolithic formats. In the case of the MSL heat shield, FMI created 114 PICA tiles precisely engineered to maintain perfect alignment to prevent any damage to the Curiosity rover during entry into the Martian atmosphere. At nearly 15 feet in diameter, the MSL TPS is the largest ablative heat shield used to date. Read the full story about MSL on the Composites World website. Read More
On March 11 and 12, FMI team members attended the second annual Space Launch System (SLS)/Orion Suppliers’ Conference in Washington, D.C. SLS and Orion provide a critical crewed launch capability, enabling human space flight beyond low Earth orbit with the goal of reaching Mars.
FMI joins NASA, JPL, and Lockheed Martin in celebrating the first anniversary of the successful landing of the Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover.
FMI presented at the National Space and Missile Materials Symposium (NSMMS) and Commercial and Government Responsive Access to Space Technology Exchange (CRASTE) in Bellevue, Washington. Carbon-Carbon and Ceramic Matrix Composite thermo-structural materials will be discussed, as well as advancements in the FMI PICA family of lightweight, ablative thermal protection system materials.