Latest News

Maxon micro DC motors on a space mission

The European Space Agency probe Rosetta made a major
breakthrough recently when it successfully navigated to the 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko
comet and deployed the Philae lander. This amazing feat was achieved with the
assistance of two small DC servomotors manufactured by Maxon Motor.

The Philae lander contains ten scientific instruments designed
to gather information from the surface of the distant comet and help find clues
to the origins of all life. The deployment of a 100kg set of instruments on a
4km long rock follows ten years of travel in space.

Swiss company Maxon Motor supplied two 13mm diameter
DC motors for the mission to be used to lower an alpha X-ray spectrometer to
the surface to analyse the comet’s elemental composition.

Though the task for the small DC motors may sound
fundamentally easy, it must be understood that the motors have had to withstand
the rigours of take-off and landing; and survive for over ten years in vacuum
conditions. Despite this, the two motors have come to life and passed their
first motion test. 

Send this to a friend