Customized multi-layer thin film tapes based on polyimide are ensuring that the Mars rover Curiosity begins its journey across the red planet's surface searching for signs of sustained microbial life with ultimate protection from the extremes of the Martian environment.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory employed a special reinforced tape from Dunmore (Bristol, PA) created to insulate all of the wiring inside the Mars Rover. The insulating tape ensures the electrical currents from the rover's different systems don't interfere with each other and impede the rover's operation. Dunmore created the tape by combining DuPont Kapton polyimide film with a 3M adhesive and fiberglass reinforcement layer. "Getting the rover to Mars was an enormous task. Now it's time for the payoff - the exploration and research. Our insulating tapes will help prevent operational failures as the probe travels around Mars and sends new knowledge back to Earth," says Dunmore Vice President John Jordon.