- Press Release
- Mar 25, 2023
EaglePicher Helps Power Mars Mission
Products from EaglePicher
Technologies, LLC played an integral role in powering NASA’s Mars mission.
The Mars Exploration Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity used EaglePicher
Technologies (EPT) thermal batteries to successfully assist in the critical
entry, descent and landing sequences on Mars.
Each Rover had two thermal batteries manufactured at EPT’s Joplin,
Missouri facility, located on the back shell to provide high-current bursts
for firing several pyros (firing mechanisms). These pyros enabled parachute
deployment, heat shield release, TIRS (Transfer Impulse Reaction System) and
RAD (Rocket Assisted Descent) rocket firing.
The batteries made the long trip to Mars in an inactive state. Upon
entering the Mars atmosphere, a high-current pulse activated the batteries by
generating a high temperature that melted electrolyte pellets and thus
provided ionic contact between electrodes within the battery.
Even though the operating life after activation is fairly short, the
thermal batteries are designed to provide extremely high power over a short
period of time, making them ideal for the Mars Rovers. EaglePicher made
similar batteries for NASA’s earlier missions, Mars Pathfinder and Mars
The thermal batteries for Mars Exploration Rovers were designed and
fabricated by EaglePicher Technologies, LLC under the cognizance of battery
and mission assurance engineers from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
For further information on EaglePicher products, access www.eaglepicher.com .
EaglePicher Technologies, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of EaglePicher
Incorporated, has facilities in Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas and
Canada. The operating group develops and markets advanced high-reliability
power systems and associated electronics for government, space and commercial
applications. It also processes Boron isotopes, anticancer pharmaceutical
ingredients and ultra clean scientific containers. Areas of global focus
include telecommunications, medical, nuclear power plants, space, defense,
environmental, semiconductors and pharmaceutical/biotech. Additional
information is available on the Internet at www.eaglepicher.com .
EaglePicher Incorporated, founded in 1843 and headquartered in Phoenix,
Arizona, is a diversified manufacturer and marketer of innovative, advanced
technology and industrial products and services for space, defense,
environmental, automotive, medical, filtration, pharmaceutical, nuclear power,
semiconductor and commercial applications worldwide. The company has
4,000 employees and operates more than 30 plants in the United States, Canada,
Mexico, the U.K. and Germany. Additional information on the company is
available on the Internet at www.eaglepicher.com .
This release contains statements which, to the extent that they are not
recitations of historical fact, constitute “forward-looking statements” within
the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. These
include any statements about future business operations, financial performance
or market conditions. Such forward-looking information involves risks and
uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. These
risks and uncertainties are discussed in Eagle-Picher Holding’s filings with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
EaglePicher(TM) is a trademark of EaglePicher Incorporated.