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A little eye candy for you space exploration nuts Pathfinder rover wheels

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posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 02:23 AM
Well since I know some of the members here are very interested in space exploration I thought I would post up some photos of a actual piece of the Mars Pathfinder Rover. One of my very close relatives co-owns an aerospace industry machine shops in California. It was always a highlight of going to see this relative and get to hold such a beautiful precision machined piece from an amazing project. I have also had the pleasure of spending a fair amount of time around the amazing machine shop and was always fascinated with the awesome CNC mills and such.

On my last visit to California (my birth state) I took some pictures of this wheel with my camera phone and my DSLR, I still have to figure out on which memory card the real pictures are currently hiding but I will post them when I find them.

For now enjoy these camera phone taken teaser pictures, I hope you all share my fascination with this family trophy of sorts.

Here is a NASA picture of the wheel assembled with the "tread"

I will post better pictures as soon as I can find them (hopefully in the morning if I'm bright eyed and bushy tailed).

posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 03:17 AM
Pretty sweet. Having worked around mills like that (used to work the shipyards in sd Cali, fitter/welder), I can attest to the sheer beauty of the precision cuts. Cool pics.

I have an uncle that made pc boards that went onto a rover. The company was called hallmark electronics.

posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 03:50 AM
reply to post by BigDave-AR

Aluminum Mags on Mars. What a trip. That is AL? Or maybe an AL, Mg alloy? Doesn't appear to be plated. No concerns about oxidation. Pretty heavy duty too. Considering the gravity on Mars, I mean, it's not even spoked for launch to weight saving? How much do the rovers weigh anyway (on Mars)? I thought they would use plastic or rubber tires to keep down the shock. What do I know...

Thanx for sharing.

posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 04:25 AM
I was always under the impression that it was machined out of a very high quality billet aluminum but I am unsure of the actual alloy type. I wish I would have had a gram scale when I was ogling over it. It is extremely light but you can tell it is very very strong as well. I could call up my relative and ask him what alloy it was.

Okay well the warm reception so quick for this time of night motivated me to get into gear on finding the real pictures and I finally got them. I wish I would have taken time to take more and better pictures and had my tripod (not to mention a slave flash with diffuser) with me but I hope these do it some justice.

Here's another piece that was machined by my family though I never got around to asking what it was or was for (but was something AeroSpace for sure) but it is cool nonetheless.

The two together(ish) in a decidedly poor picture on my part.

Hope you all enjoy them.

posted on Feb, 7 2012 @ 08:26 AM
Cool, that second one is weird, looks like some kind of unique oil cap or something.

posted on Feb, 8 2012 @ 03:12 AM

Originally posted by RSF77
Cool, that second one is weird, looks like some kind of unique oil cap or something.

Yeah it is weird for sure I really am going to have to put a call in soon to see what the eff' the second piece is and hopefully what it is for/what it does.

What really throws me is the "texture" of the recess cuts and the perfect finish on the outer ring and the "contacts" (the raised square parts). I was thinking it might be some kind of mechanical timer/switch of sorts because of the unique cuts.

Anyone else want to chime in on what they they think the small piece is?

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