Will Martian rovers ever run on rubber tires?

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Designing rubber materials that could withstand harsh Martian conditions is a challenging task. Space radiation severely damages the chemical structure of rubber macromolecules, and the low average temperature limits the types of applicable rubber only to those exhibiting very low glass transition temperatures. However, the advantages provided by the unique elastic and dumping properties of rubber have become more attractive in view of the Curiosity rover wheel damage that occurred during the Mars exploration, which was due to the poor elastic performance of the aluminum used for the tires' construction. This triggers the question: is it technologically feasible to develop rubber compounds for Martian rover tires?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2020
EventTire Technology Expo 2020 - Hanover Messe, Hanover, Germany
Duration: 25 Feb 202027 Feb 2020


ConferenceTire Technology Expo 2020


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