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Castrol Braycote, Keeping NASA's Mars Rover Running

Datatime:2022-12-05Source :York Trading (Shanghai) Co., Ltd.Hits:2083

Mars is an extreme environment. You're talking summer temperatures of maybe 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit), while extreme temperatures at the poles are minus 153 degrees Celsius (minus 243 degrees Fahrenheit). Send machinery into space, and if it has moving parts, it needs lubrication. With a mission on Mars, you don't get a second chance. You know, any mistake could abort this multi-year, multi-million dollar mission.


Castrol Braycote lubricants were developed for NASA at the start of the space program in the 1960s and are used to this day to keep the Mars rovers running and the International Space Station at speeds of 17,000mph (27,400km/h) orbit the earth. As well as being able to operate in extreme temperatures, Braycote also reduces what is known as "outgassing", where grease evaporates, allowing the instrument to operate at optimum levels, even at extreme heat.


It was used on the Opportunity rover. Opportunity, originally on a 90-day mission, has been working for more than 12 years and is still roaming Mars. It actually broke the record for the furthest distance traveled by a human-made vehicle on another planet or the moon.


The lubricant is also used on the Curiosity rover. Curiosity has been operating there for nearly four years after its original two-year mission cycle.


Now Castrol is supplying Braycote lubricants in partnership with many space agencies and the burgeoning space tourism industry. Additionally, the lubricant can be used on Earth in manufacturing processes and extreme environments involving vacuum or hazardous chemicals.


This helps the semiconductor and microchip industries, manufacturers of electronics, flat-panel displays and hard drives. Other uses include commercial aircraft and long-term operation of equipment in the Arctic Circle.


It's an amazing industry. Every business person I meet knows how cool our jobs are. It's really fun for dealers to talk to customers about what we do. When I look up at the stars in the night sky, I am amazed to find that somewhere in the sky, there are the fruits of my labor.


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