Back on Mars!

The NASA Mars vehicle "Spirit" successfully landed on the red planet on Sunday, January 4, 2004. "Opportunity," the second NASA vehicle, reached the surface of Mars on January 25, 2004. The two Mars rovers were both powered by 39 DC drives each, manufactured by maxon motor.

Then and now, the motors were used for the drives of the robot arms, the stone borer, the control mechanism, and the camera operation. The motors also power the six high-tech wheels, which propell(ed) the 180 kg vehicle across the surface of Mars.

The maxon motors needed only a few small adjustments to get them ready for the extremely tough conditions. The devices had to be able to withstand the high temperature fluctuations on the planet surface, from approx. -120°C to +25°C, the tremors, and the unique atmosphere.

In the same year, the maxon motor group opened the new production building in Veszprém, Hungary, where components for the drive system are manufactured.