Is there life on Mars?
Last year we launched our new ultra-lightweight range of parachute fabrics – the lightest available on the market. The launch took place at the Parachute industry Association Symposium and Exhibition in Daytona Beach.
Heathcoat Fabrics are unique within the industry in that we are the only parachute fabric design manufacturers to design and specify our own, exclusive, Heathcoat Advanced Yarns brand of UV protected yarns on the market. Weighing only 20gsm or less, our DecelAir Superlight range also has superior strength to weight ratio.
The Superlight range was incredibly well-received by the parachute and space industries, and soon enough attendees and further potential contacts were getting in touch with Heathcoat Fabrics. Within two months we received the first Superlight order for a NASA-related trial from one of the biggest space industry veterans. Soon after, we were then asked to develop a lightweight fabric for a space end use.
We have since learned that the purpose of this fabric is for a development to deliver astronauts to the International Space Station. According to one customer, the weight reduction offered by using Superlight could save as much as $750,000 per flight.
So, is there life on Mars? – BBC Spotlight investigated how Heathcoat Fabrics are finding out
Heathcoat Fabrics is also currently making a super high-strength parachute fabric for NASA's Laboratory. The project is intended to be used for the Mars 2020 Rover, as NASA plan to investigate Mars' surface geological processes and history, including evaluating the past habitability, possibility of past life on Mars, and potential preservation of biosignatures within available geological materials. The Heathcoat fabrics engineers are facing quite a task, with having to find a material that can withstand temperatures of -270 degrees Celsius for the $2billion mission.
In addition to space uses, versions of Superlight are also now being used for defence decoy projects and also being considered for various drone-recovery parachutes, glider pilot parachutes, and skydiver reserve parachute trials.