Roscoe company helps NASA's Mars mission - – Rockford’s News Leader

Roscoe company helps NASA's Mars mission

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It's been nine months since the Mars rover Curiosity began its interplanetary journey and the rover has a special connection to our area.

Roscoe's Forest City Gear spent many hours of hard work on the project and  if all goes as planned, NASA says the rover should touch down late tonight or in the early hours of Monday morning.

Once Curiosity enters the Martian atmosphere, it will begin looking for signs of microbial life in rock and soil samples.

"Curiosity is going to have some new instruments on it that'll be able to make some different findings," said Fred Young, Forest City Gears CEO.  "They're going to a location they believe might be opportunistic to finding evidence of water."

But before this two year mission could begin, NASA had to come up with the parts to build the one ton rover. They asked forest city gear to build 75 gears for the Curiosity, not an easy task even for this renowned shop.

"It was several, several months and that was just the gear cutting," said Young.

Some of those gears are a part of the robotic arms used to gather samples. "They all required 100 per cent inspection," said Young.

And it's not the first time Young and his company has taken on such a prestigious NASA job. "We have gears in both spirit and opportunity, in the wheel drives."

Young says he will be watching curiosity land from his home off of one of the live NASA feeds.

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