maxon motors fly into outer space on board the “Dragon” spacecraft

The flawless launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket on May 22, 2012 is another successful step for maxon motor ag in the use of high precision motors in the astronautics industry. The crucial tasks of the maxon motors in the SpaceX mission included orienting the solar arrays of the Dragon spacecraft towards the sun to provide the power supply.
The first private cargo capsule in the history of space travel was launched into space on May 22, 2012 from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.The voyage of the unmanned “Dragon“ spacecraft, developed by the Californian company SpaceX, was a historical event for all involved. Never before has a private company developed a combined spacecraft and launch system that is capable of undertaking an orbital rendezvous and then returning to earth.

Brushless maxon motors for mission-critical tasks EC maxon motors  were used on the voyage to the ISS to rotate the solar arrays to keep them aligned with the sun as Dragon orbited the earth, open the instrument bay door  which contains navigation equipment, and lock in place the fixture that allows Dragon to be grappled by the space station’s robotic arm.
On May 25, 2012, astronaut Donald Pettit successfully used the 17.6 metre robotic arm of the ISS to grapple the Dragon and guide it to the docking point on the space station. The 4.4 metre tall Dragon spacecraft supplied 520kg (1146 pounds) of scientific equipment and food to the ISS. On May 31, the six ton capsule detached from the ISS and splashed down under parachutes in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California on the same day. The capsule was returning 660 kg (1455 pounds) of material from the ISS. Now that NASA has phased out its space
shuttle program, the Dragon is the only means of transporting such large quantities of material back to earth. The maxon team has been working on the SpaceX motor project for the last year. This is a milestone in the history of maxon, and the story isn’t over yet, as NASA has contracted with SpaceX for another twelve flights to the ISS. In a few years, the spacecraft will carry seven astronauts to the international space station.

For maxon motor, this latest flight is a major step forwards in the future of commercial aerospace applications.
With the Mars rovers Opportunity and Spirit, maxon motor has previously demonstrated that maxon motors function flawlessly, even in outer space and on other planets. “We recognised the significance of what SpaceX were trying to achieve when they first approached us for motors several years ago. Our participation demonstrates that our standard industrial motors now have the technological sophistication that enables them to function in the critical roles needed for the success of this ground breaking mission,” explained Robin Phillips and Kornelia Stubicar, the two managers of the SpaceX motor project at maxon who, together with their team, implemented the development of the Dragon motors.

In the middle of the Dragon spacecraft you can see the mechanism for opening the instrument bay which was also controlled using maxon motors

The brushless EC maxon motor for the mission-critical tasks in the Dragon spacecraft


About maxon motor Australia

maxon motor is the world’s leading supplier of high-precision drive systems. More than 40 years’ experience, constant innovation, top-quality products and competent customer service make maxon motor a reliable partner in the drive technology sector. We are driven by your specific requirements. The product range incorporated in the modular system is comprehensive: Brushed and Brushless DC motors with the unique ironless maxon winding Flat motors with iron cores Planetary gears, spur gears and special gears Sensors (encoders, DC tachos, resolvers) Servo amplifiers, position controllers and control electronics High-tech CIM and MIM components Customer specific drive solutions. maxon motor is a Swiss company headquartered in Sachseln (Central Switzerland) that employs more than 2000 staff worldwide. With 14 sales companies based in over 30 countries, sales partners in another 10 countries and with six production sites, maxon motor are able to provide locally-based and competent customer service. maxon motor helps provide innovative solutions at competitive prices for numerous applications in various markets, such as Medical technology, Industrial automation and robotics, Aerospace industry, Automotive industry, Communication, Consumer applications, Inspection and Instrumentation and Safety engineering. maxon motor Australia is based in Mt Kuring-Gai NSW and our staff will be happy to help you with all your DC motor and technical enquiries.

2 responses to “maxon motors fly into outer space on board the “Dragon” spacecraft”

  1. Shane K Richardson says :

    An excellent post, providing something good to read,it’s just good to came across the post on hand sets and its features.

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