Pieces of NASA’s Perseverance rover designed, built in Durham

Durham County News

RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – NASA’s Perseverance Rover is now halfway to Mars. The main mission of the rover is too look for signs of ancient life and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth.

Some of the critical parts – like the robotic arm, drill and the piece used to collect samples were built and designed in Durham by Sierra Nevada Corporation.

“We fabricated just about every moving mechanism on the two robotic arms for the Perseverance Rover,” said Jeff Mobley, senior engineering manager for SNC.

This is SNC’s 14th mission with NASA.

“Every time we can make something that goes into space like all of our parts do, it’s really exciting work,” said Mobley.

The Durham-based company also helped to make possible NASA’s asteroid touchdown last week. They were behind some the pieces used in the power supply for that spacecraft.

SNC is now working on designing parts to a vehicle that will delivery cargo to the space station.

“The importance of investigating our universe, finding if there’s signs of former life out in out in the universe or learning more about our solar systems so we can find out more about our planet, all of that is just really exciting work,” said Mobley.

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