The recent innovation NASA developed for Mars missions is a special tire, called Superelastic Tire, which is "game changing, non-pneumatic, compliant" as described on the NASA website.
In 2012, the tires of NASA's Mars Curiosity experienced very serious abration one year after landing on Mars, due to the rugged surface of Mar's, sparking concerns that whether it can successfully execute the mission.
Now NASA researchers may see the Superelastic Tire as solution. The use of a NiTi shape memory alloy are capable of undergoing significant reversible strain, up to 10%, allowing this tire to withstand excessive deformation without permanent damage.
The new material allows the tire to produce 30 times as much deformation than conventional materials, and when the tire experiences this level of deformation, it still retains its
original shape after passing the obstacle.
If NASA's Mars mission goes on wheels, Superelastic Tire will probably put into use in the future. In addition, it can also be applied to other vehicles.
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